Oaks are without doubt one of the most important trees of the Northern Hemisphere. Historically, oaks have been an important source of fuel, fodder, and building materials throughout their range. Acorns provide an important wildlife food source.
Quercus alba (white) Occurs in dry upland slopes and lowland valleys. Grows to 50-80’ tall in cultivation and up 100’ in the wild. Pyramidal when young, but matures into a substantial tree with a wide-spreading, rounded crown. Variable fall color ranges from uninteresting browns to quality shades of dark red. White oak grows over much of eastern North America and is an important hardwood timber tree. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Quercus bicolor (swamp white) Height and spread of 50–60’. Indigenous to north, central and eastern Missouri in moist to swampy locations in bottomlands and lowlands, such as along streams and lakes, and floodplains. Also has surprisingly good drought resistance. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Quercus imbricaria (shingle) A medium-sized red oak that grows in a conical form to 40-60’ tall, with the crown broadening and rounding with age. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Quercus macrocarpa (bur) Height of 70–80’ and a spread of around 80’ at a slow rate, with height increases of less than 12” per year. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN TWO THIRDS OF THE U.S.
Quercus muehlenbergii (Chinkapin) Height of 40–50’ and a spread of 50–60’ at a slow to medium rate, with height increases of anywhere from less than 12” to 24” per year. Simple, oblong to oblong-lanceolate coarsely toothed leaves. Fall color varies from yellow to orangish-brown. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Quercus palustris (pin) Height of 60–70’ and a spread of 25–40’ at a fast rate of more than 24” per year. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Quercus phellos (willow) Height of 40–60’ and a spread of 30–40’ at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24” per year. Foliage is thin and strappy. Tolerates poorly drained soil. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Quercus rubra (northern red) Height of 60–75’ and a spread of around 45’ at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24” per year. Fall foliage is striking red. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Quercus shumardii (Shumard) Height of 40–60’ and a spread of 40–60’ at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24” per year. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Quercus robur (English) Native to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia), under landscape conditions in urban environments, it may reach 50’ tall and wide at a medium growth rate.
Quercus texana (Nuttall) The champion Texas red Oak of Kansas made its debut on the list of American Forests Champion Trees in 2017, as it is the largest known tree of its species in the country. It can be found in Crestview Park, in Topeka, KS! Nuttall oaks are easy to establish, and grow like a weed as a young tree. Even better, Nuttalls can tolerate poorly drained sites more so than any other red oak. Nuttalls don’t drop acorns until December, which means they’re an important winter food source for many mammals.
Acorns top food preference list for blue jays, wild turkeys, squirrels, small rodents, whitetail deer, raccoons and black bears.