The Pin Oak tree
(Quercus palustris) is also known as the Marsh Oak, althoughthe
name of Marsh Oak is a bit misleading. The tree is rarely found in
marshes and constantly humid conditions. Nevertheless, flooded river
valleys often become home to some of these trees.
Coming from Eastern north
America, the tree is a relative newcomer to European lands. It was
named Marsh Oak by a German botanist from Hameln called Otto
II of Münchhausen, who wrote the first valid description of this tree
in 1752. The scientific name Palustris comes from the Latin
word meaning "marsh", and its is in the family of Fagaceae (Beech trees).
The original natural home
of the Pin oak is the east of the United States of America and of
Canada, from Tennessee and Virginia to the areas of the Great Lakes
Pin Oak Tree
Since its introduction to
Europe in the eighteenth century it has been planted there in parks on
a purely decorative basis because its foliage has strikingly beautifully
colourfings in autumn.. It is the first oak of North America to flower
in spring . It needs an average number of sunny hours, and resists the
freezing of an average frost. The tree appreciates wetlands. It particulary
likes slightly acidic soil and doesn't tolerate limestone areas. It grows
at altitudes below 350 meters above sea level.
The Pin Oak tree grows moderately
fast, which, combined with its overall shape and properties, makes it popular
choice as a shade
tree. It reaches a height of 20 to 25 metres, and sometimes (but
rarely) as high as 30 metres. It has a conical crown and a trunk
of about one metre in diameter. Its grey-green bark remains smooth even
on the adult trees. The tree lives from 90 to 120 years.
Pin Oak Leaves
The horizontally positioned
branches have short, sharp twigs. In later age the bottom branches bend.
The leaves have five or seven lobes deeply cut out with a central vein.
Their size varies from 5 to 11 centimetres. If you turn the Pin Oak leaf over you'll see that on the back there are light browny-orangey hairs where the main lobe vens join the central vein.
Flowers appear on the Pin
Oak in July. Both male and female flowers grow on the the same tree
but in separate places. Male flowers are grouped in catkins which
develop from buds from the previous year, and are 5 to 7 centimetres long.
From 15 or 20 years of age, the Pin Oak will produce acorns which mature
during the cecond year after pollenation. Being around 13mm in size,
the acorns are tightly held in cups which are almost stalklessly attached
to the branches.
Beautiful picture of
a snow covered Pin Oak Tree in Winter by MCS_flickr
The Pin Oak's wood is the
medium brownish with almost white sapwood which is used used in the production
of furniture. It is very much used on a purely decorative basis thanks
to its colors
This tree is the only food
known of the caterpillar Bucculatrix domicola.
Quercus palustris Green Dwarf
is a smaller version of this tree which reaches a height of 2 metres
after ten years of its life.
References and external links:
oak tree at Wikepedia, Technorati