Quercus imbricaria - Shingle Oak
Family: Fagaceae

Hear the scientific name

Quercus imbricaria is a large, spreading shade tree that performs well in dry sites. Shingle Oak is representative of the entire-leaved Oaks, those non-lobed and relatively narrow-leaved Oaks, which have a finer texture than others in this predominately bold-textured genus, and also have a better survival rate after transplanting than most Oaks.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form Form

-large shade tree

-maturing at about 60' tall x 70' wide under urban conditions, but much larger in the wild

-upright oval to upright pyramidal growth habit in youth, becoming rounded and spreading with age, with the lower branches angling slightly downward

-medium growth rate

foliage Foliage

-shiny dark green, alternate (clustered at stem apices), oblong to lanceolate, entire, about 5" long, with the leaf apex having a single short bristle tip (identifying it as belonging to the Red Oak group), and with a short petiole

-leaves turn yellow-brown to russet brown in autumn and are ornamentally poor


-yellow-brown pendulous male catkins are obvious and prominent in late Apr., but are ornamentally insignificant, as are the very small pistillate flowers


-a rather small acorn (0.5" long), maturing over 2 seasons, with a cap covering almost half of the oval nut, on a very short peduncle and often in clusters of 2 or 3


-green brown when young, maturing to brown-gray


-dark gray to black, lightly furrowed through mid-age, but becoming more deeply furrowed with old age

C   U   L   T   U   R   E


-full sun (partial shade tolerant in youth)

-performs best in full sun in moist, deep, acidic, well-drained soils, but is very adaptable to poor soils, dry soils, and soils of various pH

-propagated by seeds

-Beech Family, with no serious diseases or pests

-moderately available in B&B form

-member of the Red Oak group; while some of these members may hybridize freely in the wild, Shingle Oak usually stays true to form in terms of morphological traits

-Shingle Oak is very sensitive to being transplanted in autumn, and care should be taken to amend the soil, fertilize, water thoroughly, mulch adequately, and avoid winter salt spray, to enhance survival chances during the first winter, if transplanting cannot be delayed until spring


-zones 5 to 8


-native to the Eastern U.S.

U   S   A   G   E


-the most cold hardy Oak that has a medium-fine texture when in foliage

-urban tolerant in general, especially to dry sites

-one of the better Oaks for transplant success

-nuts attract wildlife (large birds, deer, and especially squirrels)


-fruit litter with maturity

-persistent dead foliage on lower and interior branches in winter

-poor autumn color


-shade tree for large lawns, parks, golf courses, or naturalized areas

-valuable timber tree, with its wood prized for beams, boards, railroad ties, and furniture


-medium texture in foliage and bold texture when bare

-thick density in foliage and when bare

S   E   L   E   C   T   I   0   N   S

Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-large shade trees (Acer saccharum, Liriodendron tulipifera, Quercus shumardii, Zelkova serrata, etc.)

-trees for dry sites (Celtis occidentalis, Gleditsia triacanthos, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Quercus macrocarpa, Quercus rubra, etc.)

-wildlife attraction hardwood trees (members of the genera Fagus, Carpinus, Carya, Juglans, Nyssa, Quercus, etc.)

-Oaks with relatively narrowleaf and medium-fine textured foliage [with northern cold hardiness zone listed in brackets] (Quercus nigra [6], Quercus phellos [5 or 6], Quercus virginiana [7 or 8], and to some extent, the subtely lobed Quercus acutissima [5 or 6] and Quercus muehlenbergii [5])


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