Black Oak

Black Oak

Quercus velutina


Black Oak Leaves Quercus velutina
Black Oak Leaves
  • Clade: Eudicot/Rosid
  • Order: Beech
  • Family: Beech Family (Fagaceae)


  • deciduous
  • Top of leaf: glossy/shiny/smooth,
  • Texture: leathery, hard/tough,
  • short petiole
  • Underside: sometimes scaly, yellow to brownish copper, a little hairy below
  • axillary tufts (red in color)
  • 10-25 cm (4-10″)
  • 5-7 lobes
  • lobes have bristles on tips
  • lobes are more shallow (not as deeply cut) as scarlet oak
  • sinuses extend 2/3rds  of the way to midrib

Fall Foliage

  • dull red to bronze/brown


  • ovary ripens into an acorn/nut
  • longer than wide, oval shaped
  • 3/4″
  • acorn has a cup/cap formed by modified leaves called bracts
  • yellow nut meat
  • 2 cm
  • 1/3rd to 1/2 enclosed by involucre, shallow cap
  • cup: rough scales, dull, not sharply constricted as base, flat base
  • cup underside is yellow


  • dark/blackish
  • deep grooves/ furrows
  • inner bark seen in fissures is orange


  • 21-45 m (60-80′)


  • 3-4′ (0.9-1.2 m)


  • hairy at first


  • glossy/shiny
  • grayish wooly/pubescent buds
  • angled in cross section



  • open/spreading
  • narrow


  • angled
  • displays gray  hairs
  • 12 mm

Edible Parts

  • very bitter acorns/nuts
  • bitterness is caused by tannins that can be removed by boiling kernels without outer shell with water exchanges as tannins are water soluble
  • roasted kernels (shells removed) can be consumed plain or candied in syrup/sugar
  • muffins/breads can be made from flour
  • nuts, flour, candy, meal

Other Uses

  • the tannic acid/tannins are astringent and act as a diuretic
  • the compound quercin is similar to salicin found in asprin
  • tannin may help to seal off first and second degree burns and prevent infection


  • dry, sandy, rocky soil, clay hillsides, uplands, lowlands


  • Eastern United States
  • Southern Maine to Minn
  • Texas
  • NW Florida

Other Notes

  • belongs to red oak group when oaks are divided into the red and white groups
  • galls are due to the gall wasp

black oak trunk Black Oak Leaves

Range: Eastern North America

One thought on “Black Oak”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Biodiversity Exposed