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Post Oak Tree - Quercus stellate
The Many Attributes of Post Oak Trees
The Post Oak Tree (Quercus stellate) produces white oak lumber and is a small to medium tree that thrives in dry soils. It is often found in urban forests, such as parks. This deciduous hardwood tree is known for its six to ten-inch leathery cross-shaped, five-lobed leaves (two large middle lobes) with yellow fuzz on the back. The Post Oak can grow on average to heights of 50-75 feet and has been known reach 108 feet with a trunk width of 1 to 2 feet in diameter.
This tree grows in rocky, sandy and poor dry soils, but becomes more rapidly in moist well-drained conditions. It can be found growing in Massachusetts through southern Pennsylvania to southeast Iowa down to northern Florida and as far west as Texas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture growth areas for the Post Oak Tree are zones 3 to 9.
When mature the tree is often harvested for its hardwoods. These hardwoods have many uses, such as fence posts as is indicated by its name. The wood is also used for railroad ties, construction timbers, mine timbers, planks, flooring, stair risers, particle boards, veneer, and fuel. As is suggested by its many uses, this wood is quite resistant to decay.
At the age of approximately 25 years old, the tree bears seed in the form of acorns. These acorns are ready for planting in the fall and sometimes need over a year to mature. The Post Oak Tree is planted in urban forests for its ample shade. Its acorns provide food for wildlife, and its canopy provides cover for many forested regions.
This tree grows fast when initially planted as much as two and one-half feet per year. As it ages, its growth slows down. When it’s fully developed its trunk can be as full as six feet in diameter, and it can live to be as much as 300 years old.
Post Oak can be trained to grow as a large shrub. The Post Oak tolerates extreme heat and requires little water. It is a deciduous tree that showcases its interestingly shaped leaves is green summer and deep pumpkin colored orange and yellows in the fall. It is an aggressive grower and should be given plenty of space so as not to compete for resources.