Quercus texana Buckley
Nuttall Oak, Texas oak
Fagaceae (Beech Family)
Synonym(s): Quercus nuttallii, Quercus nuttallii var. cachensis, Quercus rubra var. texana, Quercus shumardii var. microcarpa, Quercus shumardii var. texana
USDA Symbol: QUTE
Nuttall oak typically matures to about 75 feet in height and spreads about 60 feet, though some specimens can reach 140 feet with a spread of more than 100 feet. It is a deciduous oak known for its red to orange-red late-fall foliage. Its bark is grayish brown to black and furrowed with flat ridges. Similar to Pin Oak (Quercus palustris), but its acorns are more elongate. Acorns egg shaped and up to 3/4 inch long.
Not distinguished as a species until 1927, when it was named for Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859), British-American botanist and ornithologist. The foliage resembles Pin Oak (Quercus palustris). The ranges overlap in Arkansas, but Pin Oak has smaller, rounded acorns with a shallow cup. Often confused with Buckley Oak (Quercus buckleyi), which was once illegitimately called Quercus texana.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Margin: Lobed
Leaf Apex: Acute
Leaf Base: Rounded
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Size Notes: Shrub or small tree, which grows to 50 feet.
Size Class: 36-72 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , IL , KY , LA , MO , MS , TN , TX
Native Distribution: In TX limited to extreme east.
Native Habitat: Flood plains and bottomlands
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Wet clay soils along streams.
Conditions Comments: Texas red oak is similar to the commonly grown Shumard red oak, in fact the two may cross genetically. The difference is that this species is smaller, more drought tolerant, and drops its leaves in the winter, albeit late in the season. Fall turns the leaves deep crimson. The pure form of Texas red oak is found in eastern Texas.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Deer, scrub jays, turkey and squirrels eat the acorns.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
PropagationDescription: Oaks are most often propagated from seed. No pretreatment is necessary. Plant immediately – outdoors or in deep containers to accomodate long initial taproot. Many oaks require cold temperatures to initiate shoot development. Protect outdoor beds with
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
Maintenance: Prevent complete soil dryness, Prune to maintain shape, May be pruned 12 mo. out of the year, Fertilize 3 times a year with lawn fertilizer 3:1:2 ratio
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0372 Collected Mar 7, 1993 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
BibliographyBibref 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 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.
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From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1988 VOL. 5, NO.4 - Controlling Oak Wilt, Jubilee Celebration Expands Endowment, Director\'s Report...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Quercus texana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Quercus texana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Quercus texana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2015-11-17
Research By: TWC Staff