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Quercus stellata (Post oak) | NPIN
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Quercus stellata (Post oak)
Loos, Peter

Quercus stellata

Quercus stellata Wangenh.

Post oak

Fagaceae (Beech Family)

Synonym(s): Quercus stellata var. attenuata, Quercus stellata var. parviloba

USDA Symbol: QUST

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This is a 40-50 ft., coarse-branched, deciduous oak with a dense, oval crown. The trunk is gray to light reddish-brown. Leaf blades variable, 3 to 5 inches long or longer, wavy margined to deeply lobed; the lobes rounded and up to 4 on each side, the upper pair often much larger than the others. Acorns up to 3/4 inch long, sometimes to 1 1/4 inches, the cup without the fringe found in Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa). Post oak is a variable tree with great variation in leaf, bark and habit.

The wood is marketed as White Oak and used for railroad cross-ties, posts, and construction timbers. Of large size in the lower Mississippi Valley where it is known as Delta Post Oak. Post Oak and Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica) form the Cross Timbers in Texas and Oklahoma, the forest border of small trees and transition zone to prairie grassland.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Obovate
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Margin: Lobed
Leaf Base: Cordate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Inflorescence: Catkin
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower:
Fruit: Light brown to almost black
Size Class: 72-100 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: MA to c. FL, w. to e. KS & c. TX
Native Habitat: Dry, upland ridges & prairie edges,

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry to moist, rocky or sandy soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Acid-based.
Conditions Comments: Post oak is the most common oak throughout Texas. The typical places to see it are sites with sandy or gravelly soils. Its acorns are an important food source for deer, squirrels, wild turkeys and other wildlife. Larval host for several butterfly species. This plant is common in the central and southern forest regions, where it is a medium-sized tree. This is the ultimate drought resistant tree, but also grows in soggy, flatwoods soils. In dry portions of the western part of its range it is smaller. Its roots are extremely sensitive to disturbance. Susceptible to oak wilt. Not often used in landscape situations. Slow-growing and long-lived.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Shade tree, Attractive
Use Wildlife: Nesting site, Substrate-insectivorous birds, Cover, Fruit-mammals, Fruit-birds, Fruit-rodents, Fruit-deer.
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Northern hairstreak, Horaces Duskywing

Propagation

Description: Oaks are most often propagated from seed. No pretreatment is necessary. Plant immediately – outdoors or in deep containers to accomodate long initial taproot. The acorns sprout without a dormancy period and begin to germinate as soon as they fall from t
Seed Collection: Best quality acorns are picked or shaken from the tree. Collect when color has changed to brown. Best if sown immediately as acorns lose viability quickly in storage. Short-term storage in moist, shaded saw dust or sand. Acorns to be sown immediately can be soaked in hot water for 15 min. to prevent weevil infestation. Stored seed should be fumigated with methyl bromide.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Plants for wildlife and trees for shade.
September 29, 2007
We live in Kempner Texas, our land has mostly cedar trees. We would like to make a wildlife habitat on the back side of our property. Can you recommend plants that will grow in shade to partial sun,...
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Native trees for cemetery plot in Karnes County, TX
April 08, 2007
I'm looking for a tree for a cemetery plot in Karnes County at Pana Maria. There will be someone to regularly water it. I understand live oak and pecan are native to the area. I assume these would...
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Possible identification of Post Oak in New Braunfels, TX
January 27, 2006
I live 6 miles north of New Braunfels in the Hill Country and own 5 acres of land. The property consists of many escarpment live oaks, texas persimon, and ashe juniper. I believe I also have some Te...
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National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: UPL UPL FACU FACU FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX

Bibliography

Bibref 283 - Cast Iron Forest: a natural and cultural history of the North American Cross Timbers (2000) Francaviglia, R. V.
Bibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide (2002) Groom, D.
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1988 VOL. 5, NO.4 - Controlling Oak Wilt, Jubilee Celebration Expands Endowment, Director\'s Report...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Quercus stellata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Quercus stellata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Quercus stellata

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-09-06
Research By: TWC Staff

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