cherrybark oak
Quercus pagoda Raf.
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: swamp red oak
  • LEAVES: deciduous, alternate, simple; petioles to ca. 2.3” long, blades to ca. 6” long, with 5-11 lobes which are acute and are bristle tipped – with some imagination, the leaf blade, when viewed right-side-up, resembles a Japanese pagoda; leaf base is wedge-shaped, not rounded; blades dark green and lustrous above, yellowish green or pale green and pubescent below
  • FLOWER: unisexual, plants monoecious, male flowers in catkins, female flowers inconspicuous, born singly or in short few-flowered axillary spikes
  • FRUIT: acorn, subglobose, sometimes somewhat flattened (= oblate), ca. 0.5” broad, cupule embracing 1/3-1/2 of the acorn
  • TWIGS: twigs of the season reddish purple and grayish pubescent early, often glabrous by autumn; buds lance-ovoid, ca. 0.25” long, vaguely longitudinally angled, scales brown, pubescent with antrorsely appressed hairs, marginally ciliate
  • BARK: dark gray to black, sometimes reddish tinged, flaky, broken into scales, reminiscent of black cherry (Prunus serotina) when appearing most typical
  • FORM: large tree, straight and fast growing on its most typical sites
  • HABITAT: mesic, rich-soil forests, prime sites include loamy ridges in floodplain forests and loess soils (e.g. Tunica Hills); present sparingly in small stream valleys of older, less fertile landscapes
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: southeastern US [Flora of North America]   [US County Range Map]
  • USES:one of the most valuable hardwood timber trees, wood used for furniture, flooring, veneer, interior finish, factory lumber, and railroad ties; ornamental
  • WILDLIFE: valuable hard mast species; provides cover and nesting opportunities for numerous birds and mammals
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. scaly, dark, flaky, cherry-like bark
    2. pagoda-shaped leaf with wedge-shaped base
    3. entire lower leaf surface is hairy