Black Oak Tree - Quercus Kelloggii
The Black Oak tree (Quercus velutina) grows smaller in the northern part of its natural range reaching about 50 to 60 feet in height. In the deepest southern portion of its home range, the Black Oak tree can reach a height of 135 feet. The average height of the Black Oak tree is 50 to 65 feet at maturity. The stability of these trees comes from a deep running central taproot. Deep taproots allow for better survival in poor or dry soil. The natural home range of this beautiful oak tree extends from the Great Lakes area all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. This tree does well in any hardiness zone up to USDA Zone 3. This tree derives its name from the black color of the deeply furrowed and ridged outer bark. The outer bark tends to be fairly uniform in color. When the bark is cut; the color of the inner bark is yellow or dark orange. Black Oak bark has been used historically to make dyes for clothes. The width of the canopy is typically 40 to 60 feet across making a wonderful shade tree. All that shade is great for shading a house or creating a nice shady lounge area in the yard. Black Oak trees attract beautiful wildlife by producing lovely brown acorns in October and November. Acorns are a food source for squirrels, rabbits, deer, turkey, chipmunks and several other species of animals and migratory birds. They also produce a large number of leaves that can be turned into rich compost for the garden or flowerbeds. Each leaf is 4 to 8 inches long with 5 to 7 bristle-tipped lobes separated by U shaped notches. The top of the leaf is shiny dark green, while the bottom is yellowish brown and covered in star-shaped clusters of tiny hairs. The growth rate of this plant is moderate.
Black Oak tree belongs to the Fagaceae family and is found in dry, wooded areas. It can live in sandy soils and thick clays, and even in gravelly, elevated locations. This is a deciduous species. The Black Oak can sustain the effects of high winds but does not fare well in salty, oceanic regions. It is sensitive to frost, and its flowers bloom during April and May.