Oak Trees and Their Numerous Varieties
If you've ever lived in a house, drank a glass of wine, sat in a rocking chair or walked in a park, you have benefited from Oak trees. From Viking battle ships to luxury wine barrels, Oak trees have provide a long lasting building material for hundreds of years. Not to mention countless hours of shade from the sun’s rays. Oak is a mainstay in the modern life. Yet, not everyone is familiar with the countless Oak tree varieties and Arborists estimate there are over 600 different species. Take a look at a few of them:
The white oak tree, or Quercus alba, is one of the oldest known Oak species. Despite its name, these trees do not possess white bark and are known to reach maximum heights of 70-90 feet. Most white oak trees adapt well in high altitude environments and grow best in deep, well-drained soil. Considering planting in the fall and allowing plenty of room for its deep root system to expand.
Also, known as Swamp Spanish oak, the pin oak grows between 60-70 feet tall and is native to North America. This tree has many unique aspects, such as not shedding its leaves in the winter until new leaves arrive in the fall. The pin oak grows best on level floodplain or river bottoms. Best known as red oak, the wood is used for construction or firewood.
The chestnut oak is part of the white oak species. Mostly found in the eastern United States, this tree grows best in dry habitats but is sometimes found in web bottom lands. Don’t expect the chestnut oak to reach towering heights. With an estimated height of 60-70 feet, this common oak tree has dark brown bark and leaves five to nine inches long. These trees love moist, well drained and somewhat acidic soil.
Best known for its shiny bark, the red oak (or champion oak) is also native of North America and grows to heights of 100-150 feet. This is tree is found in parks around the United States and has a diverse growing area. These trees grow great in sandy soil and grow in either sunny or shady conditions. However, planting with maximum exposure to the sun guarantees this tree will grow faster.
The Shumardi oak tree is one of the largest of the red oak species. The bark of this tree is also known as “reflection bark” because of its shiny texture. As the Shumardi oak ages, its bark gets darker. This tree can reach heights up to 80-120 feet and grows best in low sunlight areas. It is also one of the few drought resistant oak trees. As with most new oak trees, consider placing 3-inches of mulch around your tree for protection.
This medium-sized tree grows to about 70-90 feet and is popular in malls and subdivisions. The Wilow Oak grows extremely fast and is planted in a wide variety of environments. The wilow oak starts producing acorns after 15 years, which is much faster than most oak varieties. The leaves turn light to bright green in the summer and grows just fine in poorly drained soil.
Found in the foothills of California and Oregon, the Black oak tree has smooth and light bark. The black oak grows up to heights of 30-80 feet, making one of the shortest varieties in its species. A unique feature consists of its ability to store water and nutrients in its root system. Plant in moist, rich and deep soil and start out watering once a day for a week while advancing to once per week.
The water oak tree can be found in essentially every part of the United States. It is a medium-sized tree capable of growing up to 70-100 feet tall. This tree is known as a wetland tree and can adapt to a variety of environments. The water oak tree is known to grow in clay, sand and bottom lands. With blue and greenish leaves, this tree is unique in its texture and look.
The cherry bark oak tree looks exactly like its name. With heights reaching 100-130 feet, this tree slows slightly larger than its counterparts. The cherry bark oak tree has dark green and smooth leaves. Plant your tree in well-drained soil (without too much clay) and make sure it is far away from wetlands.
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