bluejack oak
Quercus incana W. Bartram
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAMES: sandjack oak, upland willow oak
  • LEAVES: deciduous, alternate, simple; elliptic to narrowly ovate, 1-4” long by 0.5”-1.5” wide, mostly unlobed, margins entire or with few irregular coarse teeth; leaves blue-green above and gray pubescent below
  • FLOWER: unisexual, plants monoecious, male flowers in catkins, female flowers inconspicuous, born singly or in few-flowered short axillary spikes
  • FRUIT: acorn oval, 0.5” long; cupule bowl shaped, pale reddish brown, covering 50% of the acorn
  • TWIGS: slender, reddish brown when young, eventually darker, pubescent
  • BARK: blackish rough and blocky
  • FORM: small tree to ca. 40’ tall and 14” dbh, usually encountered as a much smaller gnarled “scrubby” tree less than 20’ tall
  • HABITAT: xeric to subxeric sandhills, with or without a pine component
  • RANGE: southeastern U.S., TX and OK east to VA [USGS Range Map]
  • USES: not often commercially harvested; ornamental
  • WILDLIFE: important hard mast for deer, turkey, quail, black bear, and squirrels; succulent sprouts browsed by deer when deer density is high; birds benefit from sparse ground cover under thickets; thickets provide general wildlife cover
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. scrubby oak of xeric sandy soils
    2. bark black, rough and blocky
    3. leaves small, unlobed, bluish-green above
    4. the leaf color and scrubby form make this species stand out at a distance