I like oak trees. I love their shape, the way they grow, the way they look. I love their smell. And I love that they can be found all over the place, from Brooklyn to Paris to Italy to New England to California, and everywhere in between- check out some pictures of my favorite types of oak trees down the page!
An Oak tree is also known as the Quercus species, bearing the acorn as its fruit. These trees are known to live for hundreds of years and have been a sacred symbol for many different myths and believe dating back to ancient Roman and Greek civilizations.
During these times, they looked upon this type of tree for strength, wisdom, power, and even the hopes of gaining great knowledge. There are many different species of Oak trees that can be located from North America, to China, and even in North Africa.
There are roughly 90 different species known in America, and 160 known to Mexico. North America holds the largest amount of Oak trees, with China having the second-largest diversity of these trees containing around 100 different species. While some are as tall as 100 feet, they can also be as small as a shrub.
Currently, this plant, from its leaves and bark to even its acorns, is used for aging things like wine, brandy, and even beer. It has been commonly used to age these types of drinks in Oak barrels, mainly due to the distinct taste the wood carries. This type of tree is also a great source of timber and dye, for making furniture, flooring, and even certain musical instruments.
Growing and caring for this kind of plant is fairly easy and is considered low maintenance. The most important factors to make sure we pay attention to are fertilization, pruning, and watering. Oak trees prefer to have full sun along with well-drained soil. A fully matured tree can intake around 50 gallons of water from the soil.
You can tell if your tree does not have enough water due to its leaves turning yellow, and their growth slowing dramatically. You should not water them more than once a month but can give them a good soak in the spring if you had a more dry winter. Fertilization is also very important as it helps the young ones grow and the mature ones stay healthy.
You should fertilize them in the spring or late summer so there is plenty of water to saturate all the nutrients into the root system. The deciduous ones benefit from annual pruning as it helps get rid of diseased or dead branches, and also aids in bud development. Although, you should keep in mind that pruning slows down growth and over-pruning can result in damage to the tree (Source).
21+ Varieties Of Oak Trees
1. White Oak (Quercus Alba)
This type is one of the most known in the Oak family. They tend to grow very slowly but at full maturity can reach anywhere from 80 to 150 feet. As it grows tall, it also grows very wide, providing an ample amount of shade during the summer months. Despite the name, this type of tree has a gray color bark.
Its leaves are also different than the other types of its kind which are more lobed rather than pointed with sharp bristles. To most native cultures, this type of bark is used for medicinal purposes such as fever, colds, and arthritis. Outside of its medical uses, it is a great hardwood for flooring, furniture, and even to make boats.
2. Black Oak (Quercus Velutina)
This Black Oak type of species is known to be in the Red Oak family and can be found in central North America. There are a few little tales that can help you identify this type of tree. One is its bark, which on the backside is mostly black, with deep ridges that look like cracks. This tree can handle more dryer climates than its cousins and thrives within full sun.
At full maturity, they stand between 65 to 80 feet tall and are great for providing shade but are difficult to retransplant due to their roots being so long. They are known to have defects within its wood, but is still used for a fence post or even fuel.
3. Pin Oak (Quercus Palustris)
Although the size of this Pink Oak tree is not as big as others, it is known to be more used in landscaping due to its ability to withstand poor soil as well as pollution. It will be a great addition to anyone urban garden. The maturity size is anywhere between 59 and 72 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet.
This type of plant grows at a more rapid pace but does not live quite as long. They provide great shade, although it tends to grow in a pyramid-like manner. The branches on the middle trunk area grow out at a 90-degree angle. The upper branches grow straight up and the lower branches tend to grow downward. The natives have also used this bark to make a drink to treat intestinal issues.
4. English Oak (Quercus Robur)
Of course, if you haven’t thought it already, the English Oak is known to England as well as western Asia. These trees are known to grow between 65 feet all the way to 130 feet tall. Even though they can be great in size, as they age they tend to become shorter, widening their trunk in order to live longer. They prefer full sun but can withstand having some shade as well. This tree is of great importance to wildlife as many insects live on their acorns, leaves, and buds
5. Southern Live Oak (Quercus Virginiana)
Although most tend to call this tree Live Oak, Southern Live Oak is mostly known in what called the “Old South”. This tree can grow as high as 80 feet but what’s amazing about this specific species is that its branches can grow as long as 150 feet along the ground.
Most of the time they retain all their leaves all the way up until around spring when new leaves grow in, which all old leaves will fall off immediately. This wood is hard, heavy, and can be difficult to work with. It is known to be very sturdy and used to make the body of a boat, due to its ability to withstand cannon fire.
6. Sawtooth Oak (Quercus Acutissima)
This type of tree is most known to be native to Asian countries such as Chines, Japan, and even the Himalayas. It is known to be a medium-sized tree, growing as tall as 98 feet high. It is a great food source for wildlife like birds and squirrels as it normally bears a great number of acorns. The bark is a darker gray and its leaves are long, somewhat skinny with sawtooth-like teeth along the edges. This type of wood grows at a faster rate but is known to crack and split so it is mainly used for fencing.
7. Cherrybark Oak (Quercus Pagoda)
This Cherrybark species probably one of the most valued types of Red Oak in the southern united states. They grow normally within more moist areas. This tree grows to great heights of 130 feet tall and provides you with great shade. Many wildlife uses acorns as part of their main source of food. The wood is regarded as some of the best timber you can get.
With it being very strong and sturdy, it is used for many things like general construction, furniture, and even interior finishing. It got its name due to the bark being very similar to the Cherry Trees bark, being dark gray with scaley bark and narrow ridges.
8. Water Oak Tree (Quercus Nigra)
Water Oak Trees adapt to very wet, swampy-like areas. They grow to be about 100 feet tall and the trunk being about 3 feet in diameter. The leaves are known to stay on until midwinter and can very in shape although it is mainly rounded on top and narrow at the bottom. Compared to most other Oak trees, this one has a much less life span living only between 60 and 80 years old. This wood has been used as timber as well as fuel for a fire since around the 17th century.
9. Scarlet Oak (Quercus Coccinea)
This is a medium to large type of tree growing between 60 and 100 feet. The leaves are a really nice green color, long, and has around 7 lobes to it. It is known to be planted for ornimental uses due to its bright color changes in the fall season. It is known to be an important canopy type species with its bark having a more broad scaly type ridges.
10. Japanees Evergreen Oak (Quercus Acuta)
This is mostly native to Asian countries like Japan, China and Taiwan. It was introduced to the United States in the late 18th century. Although you can grow this plant in either full sun or shaded, you will have to take proper care of this tree depending on full sun or not. This tree is quite small compared to most Oak species, getting only as tall as around 40 feet.
11. Oregon Oak (Quercus Garryana)
As you would expect, bases off the name, this tree is home within the Northwestern parts of the United States. It normally grows around a height of 50 and 90 feet, although there has been some that have gotten up to 120 feet. They are known to be fire resistant, with fires whos intensity is low. Due to this type of wood cracking and warping it normally has no commercial value, although some have experimented in using its wood to age wine.
12. Laurel Oak (Quercus Laurifolia)
A medium sized semi-evergreen in the Oak family,native to south-central United States. The growth of this tree matures around 50 years old and will grow to be 60 to 80 feet in height. The leaves tend to be long and broad and normally fall when the new leaves start coming in the spring. It is typically used for making paper although most of the time it is planted as an ornimental tree.
13. Willow Oak (Quercus Phellos)
This type of Oak tree can be identified by its more rough gray bark, that as it matures, grows narrow fissures. It is known to be a medium sized tree growing to a height of around 65-100 feet. You can identify this tree by its leaves, which are smooth, long and narrow without lobes or teeth. This type of wood is normally used for paper production but will also be sold for timber labeled Red Oak.
14. Post Oak (Quercus Stellata)
This species is native to North America and is known to be within the White Oak family. It is normally on the smaller side of trees growing between 30 to 50 feet in height. You can identify this tree rather quickly by its leave, in which only have slight lobes and tent to look like its a shape of a cross. It is known to grow is more dry locations being able to withstand drought and even fires. This uses for this type of wood is is many including railroad ties, timber, flooring, and even stiars.
15. Sessile Oak (Quercus Petraea)
Sessile Oak is one of the more larger species of White Oak getting as tall as 66 to 130 feet. The bark is a smooth gray that, with maturity, becomes fissured. The leaves for this tree are only slightly lobes with what looks like teeth around it. It is known to be used to build ships as well as cabinets and barrel staves, though it can also be used for rood beams and fence constructions.
16. Chestnut Oak (Cuercus Montana)
The Chestnut can be easily identified by its gray-brown bark, which tends to have massive ridges within it. They are a medium sized tree growing anywhere between 60 to 70 feet tall. The leaves can be identified by its bristle like tooth edges with no lobes.The branches tend to be low and not very straight which in turn makes it hard to be used for most things. Within the late 19th century, due to its ability to be rot proof, it has been used as railroad ties and fencing.
17. Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)
This is an evergreen species that is native to the Mediterranean region of the world. It can reach to a favorable size of 70 to 90 feet tall. The leaves are oblong and glossy with no lobes within it. The bark is a gray color but with more fine fissures making it look like there are cracks throughout it. This wood has been known to be hard and tough and has been used as pillars, tools, and even wagons.
I know I get a lot of flack from people for my love of trees, but they’re my absolute favorite. They’re such an important part of the ecosystem and I absolutely adore them. I have an oak tree in my yard that produces more than any other plant in my yard. Last year, I wrote about how I couldn’t believe that the leaves were turning colors already!
When I was growing up, my parents had an oak tree in our backyard. No one really knew what it was, but if you talked to my mom or dad about it, they would always tell you that it was “born from a cross between an oak tree and a walnut tree”. I’ve always been interested in the fact that trees grow and reproduce all on their own and at a very slow pace. They don’t need to be fertilized or watered every week for every day of their lifespan.
List Of All Oak Trees
We listed out all of the oak tree varieties out there below- using their Latin scientific names:
- agrifolia var. agrifolia
- agrifolia var. oxyadenia
- chrysolepis var. chrysolepis
- chrysolepis var. nana
- cocciferoides var. cocciferoides
- cocciferoides var. taliensis
- coccinea var. coccinea
- coccinea var. tuberculata
- dumosa var. dumosa
- dumosa var. elegantula
- durata var. durata
- durata var. gabrielensis
- gambelii var. bonina
- gambelii var. gambelii
- garryana var. fruticosa
- garryana var. garryana
- garryana var. semota
- havardii var. havardii
- havardii var. tuckeri
- hemisphaerica var. hemisphaerica
- hemisphaerica var. maritima
- macranthera ssp. macranthera
- macranthera ssp. syspirensis
- macrocarpa var. depressa
- macrocarpa var. macrocarpa
- marilandica var. ashei
- marilandica var. marilandica
- vula var. parvula
- vula var. shrevei
- vula var. tamalpaisensis
- ur ssp. brutia
- ur ssp. imeretina
- ur ssp. pedunculiflora
- ur ssp. robur
- ra var. ambigua
- ra var. rubra
- rata ssp. mongolicoides
- rata ssp. serrata
- mardii var. schneckii
- mardii var. shumardii
- mardii var. stenocarpa
- uata var. breviloba
- uata var. sinuata
- lizeni var. frutescens
- lizeni var. wislizeni
Hi, my name’s Elena Coolidge. I’m a DIY enthusiast who loves building fun woodworking plans. These DIY plans are fun hobby projects for enthusiasts or even more advanced builders that want to build things like bunk beds, end tables or even a duck box!