Shingle Oak

Botanical Name: Quercus imbricaria

The Shingle Oak (Quercus imbricaria) is a medium sized deciduous tree. It is native to the eastern and central United States. The growth habit is conical or pyramidal at first and becomes more rounded, broadening with age. It grows to a height of 40-60 feet tall with a spread of 40-60 feet. This tree gets its name from the early settlers in the midwest that used its wood to make shingles.

The flowers of the Shingle Oak are catkins, which means both male and female flowers grow on the same tree. They are yellowish-green and inconspicuous and develop in the spring as the leaves are emerging. The fruits are acorns that grow up to ¾  inch in size with scaly cups that cover ⅓ or the fruit. The acorns don’t ripen until fall of the following year, which is typical of red oaks. Wildlife rely on this tree for food.

The leaves are a shiny, dark green with light, fuzzy undersides. They are oval in shape with smooth margins – without the usual lobes characteristic of oak trees. They can grow up to 3-6 inches long and 1-2 inches wide. The fall color is pretty but can be variable – the leaves turn shades of yellow, red, and brown. Older leaves can persist on the tree.

The Shingle Oak makes a beautiful shade tree or can be trained as a screening tree.

Height: 40-60 ft.

Width: 40-60 ft.

Shape: Rounded, Conical

Flower Color: Yellowish-Green

Flowering Time: April

Fall Color: Brownish-Red, Brownish-Yellow

Features: Attractive gray ridged bark, beautiful shade tree, good fall color

Exposure: Full Sun

Watering: Moderate and Regular

Soil: Prefers rich, moist, well-drained soils. Adaptable to a wide range of soils.

Growth Rate: Slow-Moderate

USDA Zones: 5-8

Uses: Shade tree, lawn tree, park tree, screening tree

Similar Trees: Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra), Northern Pin Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis), Northern Black Oak (Quercus velutina), Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea), Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)

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