Types of Oak Trees with their Bark and Leaves: Identification Guide 

If you are looking for Oak trees for your garden and you want to know what the different types of oak trees are available and which one you should look for, then you are at the right place, my friend. Oak trees are generally very hardwood trees and commonly available in forests in the Northern Hemisphere Region.

Before choosing an Oak Tree, you should look for its bark, leaves, acorns, and general shape. Most commonly, Oak Trees are of two types: White Oak Trees and Red Oak Trees, so you can choose them as per your interest and yes according to the shape and other factors that will be covered here in detail. So sit back and relax. Have a complete read, and you will be good to go without wandering here and there.

Northern Hemisphere Region.

Let us start where you can identify the Oak Tree you want for your garden and the perfect option as per the different factors. Let us go!

Essential Facts About Oak Trees

According to the books and research, more than 440 species of Oak Trees and more than 50 are native to the Northern part of America. Oaks are giant spread trees, so they require a lot of space to grow, and they belong to the Deciduous Range as they lose their leaves in fall. Instead of this, you will also get Oak trees that will also come under an evergreen. That will be the fact you need to have a look at while getting one for you.

Due to their giant structure, they may be of 100 ft height, and there may be some with lesser height available. Due to prominent structure, Oak Trees may have branches with upto 41m long expansion around. So imagine how giant this Tree would grow. Due to their giant structure, they become a center of attraction for every nature-loving person, and many decide to grow it in their garden to cherish their beauty during sunset.

We all have a fact in mind that most of the trees give us something useful, and yes, here is the same story with Oak Trees. They give us fruits named Acorns. These are also called Oak Nuts. Let us have a look, how they look like and how are they useful?

So, Acorns have a smooth leathery shell inside that sits in a cup-shaped cupule. Not every Oak Tree needs to start producing Acorns in a particular duration of time, but most commonly, they start producing them every 25-30 years and can produce thousands of Acorns across a year.

Different Varieties of Oak Trees:

There are majorly two types of Oak Trees in which they are categorized. One is Red Oak Trees, and the other one is White Oak Trees. Both these categories have different properties and have different identification marks. So, the white Oak Trees have round leaves lobes without Bristles. Also, they have species of different names like:

  1. Quercus
  2. Subgenus Leucobalanus 

The second variety is Red Oak Trees, and they have darker color barks and leaves with pointed ends with bristles. Species of different types are: 

  1. Quercus
  2. Subgenus Erythrobalanus 

Let us have a brief idea about Oak Trees, the White Oak Trees, and Red Oak Trees.

White Oak Trees

White Oak trees have lobed leaves on their branches with leaves as rounded at the edges. They do not have bristles at all. Acorns, the fruits that Oak Trees produce that take one year to mature in White Oak Trees and, they are sweet and somewhat bitter too but good for health. The leaves of white Oak Trees almost measure between 13-25 cms long, which means between 5″ to 10.”

Red Oak Trees

Red Oak Trees have lobed leaves on their branches and leaves with pointed edges. They do have tiny Bristles as well. Acorns, the fruits that Oak trees produce, take almost two years to mature, and they have a very bitter and weird taste, so many people do not like them at all. The leaves of Red Oak trees are almost the same as white oak trees.

Leaves of Oak Trees 

Leaves of Oak Trees

Leaves of Oak trees play a vital role in the identification of two categories of Oak Trees. White Oak trees have round-edged leaves and no bristles at the end. Moreover, they have lobed shape leaves with no pointed edges at the top.

shape leaves

Red Oak tree leaves have a structure as shown above as they have pointed edges at the top of them. They may or may not have a rounded structure, but it is for sure that they will have bristles and pointed edges at the top of their leaves. This is from where you can recognize Red Oak Trees. 

Many Oak trees of different species except White and Red have different leaves as well like some have tooth-like edges, and others may have smooth edges. So, a wide variety can be seen here in Oak Trees.

Barks of Oak Trees

The bark of Oak trees has different identification marks as they have different appearances as the years pass. At a young age, they are so smooth, and with time, they become grooved and have some fissured appearance.

Moreover, they are silvery brownish during their young age, and when they are matured, they change their color and appearance. Both White and Red Oak trees have different bark appearances like in White ones. They are Light Gray in color, whereas in Red Oak trees, they are very dark, almost black.

Oak Tree Identification

The question that arises here is how do you decide which Oak Tree you are looking at or whether it is an Oak Tree or not? The answer is straightforward and descriptive here, by which you can quickly get to know whether you are looking at an Oak Tree or not.

Just look at the leaves and check for round lobed leaves at the edges or pointed leaves with Bristles. The story does not end here. You can also check for bark color if it is light Gray color or dark-colored, almost black if reflecting. So, the one with light gray is White Oak Tree, and the one with almost black or dark color belongs to Red Oak Tree.

Acorns of Oak Trees

We know that every Tree gives us something in return, either flowers or fruits. So here is the same story with Oak Trees, and they give us fruits. The fruits are called Acorns. But how can you imagine or decide whether the Oaktree is White Oak Tree or Red Oak Tree, based on Acorn provided by it as they have almost the same shape? 

We have an answer for it, so no need to worry. Just open that cupule-shaped Fruit is hanging on your Oak Tree and taste it. If it tastes sweet and slightly bitter, then it is White Oak Tree, and if it tastes very bitter and unpalatable, then it is Red Oak Tree. Moreover, Red Oak tree Acorns are somewhat more extensive than the ones produced by White Oak Trees.

Different Types of Oak Trees

There are different types of oak trees available in the world. Let us look at their Identification part, types of leaves, bark, and some essential facts.

Chinkapin Oak Tree

Chinkapin Oak Tree

The Botanical name of the Chinkapin Oaktree is Quercus muehlenbergii. These Oak Trees have large branches that emerge from the trunk to the surface. The leaf growth is like the chestnut oak tree. It has pointed but not the rounded teeth at the edges of the leaves. Chinkapin Oak is a large white oak tree species and has grown between 40-100 ft.

The best thing about Chinkapin Oak Trees is that they have the sweetest Acorns among all the available white oak tree species. You can identify the Chinkapin oak tree by its flaky gray bark and shallow fissures. Chinkapin oak tree has leaves with round teeth-like structure at the edges of leaves and without bristles. The leaves look like chestnut oak tree leaves.

Holm Oak Tree

Holm Oak Tree

The Botanical name of the Home Oak Tree is Quercus Ilex. Holm Oaktree is also called Evergreen Oak Tree since their leaves do not fall as per the seasons, and they are evergreen. These Oak Trees are medium-sized Oak Trees that have grown between 68-89 ft.

Unlike other Oak Trees, these Oak trees have gray to black barks with fissures merely noticeable. They look like cracks on a paved ground or a cemented floor. The leaves of these Oak Trees have no lobed structure, and they have glossy looks. Moreover, they are of lanceolate shape. So glossy leaves are the significant identification mark of these types of Oak Trees.

Chestnut Oak Trees

Chestnut Oak Trees

The Botanical name of the Chestnut Oak Tree is Quercus Montana. Chestnut oak trees have significant growth on the top of them like a crown, and they have an extensive range of Foliage and branches. These Oaktree types fall in medium-sized White Oak Trees with growth between 60-70 feet.

The Chestnut Oaks have deep fissures on them for a better identification mark along with peaked ridges. You can quickly identify them by looking at these pointers as they have unique bark.

The leaves of Chestnut Oak Trees have bristled with tooth shape at the edges. They do not have lobes at the ends and have a V shape. They usually grow in clusters.

Oregon White Oak Trees

Oregon White Oak Trees

The Botanical Name of the Oregon White Oak tree is Quercus Garryana. They can grow as large trees and shrubs in miniature landscapes in your gardens, where they grow between 10-16 ft. They are natives of the northeast coast of North America and grow between 60-100 ft long.

The bark of these trees is usually light Gray and is heavily wrinkled with ridges at the ends.

Oregon White Oak has round-shaped leaves with a perfect “U” shape and glossy green lobes. They have rounded tips with rounded apex as well.

Sand Post Oak Trees

Sand Post Oak Trees

The Botanical Name of the Sand Post Oak Tree is Quercus Margaretta. As the name suggests, they grow in sandy soil and the natives of Southeastern states. These are small Shrubs that grow only to a maximum of 42 ft. These are also called the smallest white oak trees.

The bark of these Oak Trees is gray and with shallow fissures. They also have ridges on them.

The leaves of these trees are deep rounded at the ends and with rounded lobes as well. So, you can quickly identify them with these identification points.

Post Oak Trees

Post Oak Trees

The Botanical name of the Post Oak trees is Quercus Stellata. These oak trees are smaller species in the Oak Tree category and can grow upto 48-50 ft. You can identify them by looking at their bark and sizeable spreading crown.

The bark of Post Oak Trees is very fissured and light gray. The leaves of Post Oak Trees are lobed with a cross’s shape, just like you see in Maltese Cross. So, this will be the identification mark for this Tree.

English Oak Trees 

English Oak Trees

The Botanical Name of the English Oak Tree is Quercus Robur. The English Oaktree is also known as the Majestic Oak tree with growth between 40-75ft. They are a prevalent type of Oaktree. They can be identified easily as well when you look at their trunk.

They have a massive trunk with a diameter of 15-40 ft. So, it is the best identification pointer to keep in mind when you see and check for this type of Tree. Also, they have an incredible growth of branches on their top. So, size matters here and is a good thing to keep in mind.

English Oak Tree has blackish Gray color bark and deep fissuring. They have thick branches and very thick trunks to be identified easily with a single look. 

The leaves of English Oak Trees are round-shaped and small. They do not have pointed ends but smooth ends. So, they have a standard and classic shape of the leaves with Acorn producing trees.

Eastern White Oak Trees

Eastern White Oak Trees

The Botanical Name of the Eastern White Oak tree is Quercus Alba. These trees are so massive and can have a growth upto 100 ft. Eastern White Oak is called white Oaks since they have white hardwood.

The bark of Eastern White Oak has a light grayish color with small and slight fissures. They also have scales that overlap on each other from halfway up to the trunk.

The leaves of Eastern White Oak are large with rounded lobes. They also have rounded edges at the ends. Moreover, the leaves have large obovate structures.

Bur Oak Trees

Bur Oak Trees

The Botanical name of Bur Oak Tree is Quercus Macrocarpa. The Bur Oak trees are a massive category of White Oak Trees, and they have a very massive growth as they can grow upto 100 ft.

Sometimes their growth may also cross 100 ft and go upto 165 ft. The Bur oak is one of the Giant oaks and has a very dense structure with a trunk diameter of upto 12-13 ft. These are slow-growing oaks and are usually found in the Northern part of America on a considerable scale.

The bark of Bur Oak trees has medium Grayish color. They have narrow and deep fissures with scales on them. Moreover, they have vertical ridges that are visible to everyone. This is a strong identification point to be of great value.

The leaves of Bur Oak Tree are large and of no shape at all. They seem to be shapeless but have a massive structure with small lobes upto the half of the leaves’ length. They also have a rounded apex that can help you to recognize them.

Sessile Oak Trees

Sessile Oak Trees

The Botanical Name of Sessile Oak Tree is Quercus Petraea. Sessile Oak Trees are large white Oak tree species, and they can grow from 70-135 ft long.They are native to Europe and found mainly in Ireland, so they are also known as Irish Oaks. These Oak Trees are Deciduous, and their leaves drop during the fall. Their leaves change their color as per the season, and they turn from Olive Green to Golden Yellow during fall.

Sessile Oak Trees’ bark is very smooth during a young age, and they become fissured when they mature. It is just like human skin as it is smooth when young and gradually becomes wrinkled when matured. The leaves of Sessile Oak Trees are slightly lobed, and they have a teeth-like structure around the Margins.

After reading the complete article, we know that the Oak Trees have a large category of species and different leaves, bark, and acorns identification markers. So before proceeding to your favorite Oak tree plantation, have a clear picture of which one you would like to have and grow for your landscape to make it more beautiful and exciting.

You have an opportunity to have your favorite Oak, and now you are clear with all the species. So, let us decide and have your Oak for your garden. Enjoy the beautiful Oak tree species and their fruits called Acorns with a little bit of bitter taste.

Happy Planting!

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