Quercus muhlenbergii - Chinkapin Oak


A tree with light gray platy or scaly bark and smooth, gray twigs changing to brown on the current year’s leaf-bearing growth. Leaves up to 8 inches long and 4 1/2 inches wide with their widest part nearer the apex than the base. Larger leaves broadly rounded from the widest part to the apex and tapered to the base, the smaller ones narrower, leaf margins shallowly lobed or coarsely toothed, each lobe or tooth with a minute tip; the upper surface smooth, with a sheen, the lower surface dull. Flowers inconspicuous in narrow clusters. Fruit an acorn up to 1 inch long and 3/4 inch wide.The common name refers to the resemblance of the foliage to chinkapins (Castanea), while the Latin species name honors Henry Ernst Muehlenberg (1753-1815), a Pennsylvania botanist. Chinkapin oak can be separated from Q. prinoides on the same site by its single stem and sparse acorn production.