This large tree grows between Rand/Sarratt and the parking lot behind Buttrick Hall, near the entrance to the post office.
(chinkapin oak), Quercus michauxii
(swamp chestnut oak), Quercus bicolor
(swamp white oak), and Quercus montana
(chestnut oak) have similar leaves but can be distinguished by careful examination as well as by their habitat, bark, and acorns. The first three of these species will be seen in this tour. In the wild, chinkapin and chestnut oaks would be found in uplands, while swamp white and swamp chestnut oaks would be found in wetlands. Therefore it is most important to be able to distinguish between these pairs.
The tips of the lobes (or large teeth) of chinkapin oak leaves
have small glands at their tips
. The glands are best seen using a hand lens. Chestnut oak leaf
lobes do not have these glands
. The bark
of chinkapin oaks tends to flake off in strips, while the bark of large chestnut oaks
has deep furrows. When fully ripe, chinkapin oak acorns
are small and nearly black with light colored caps. Chestnut oak acorns
are more of a chestnut brown, large and somewhat bullet-shaped, and have more conical caps. Chestnut oaks are also typically found on dry ridge tops and slopes, while chinkapin oaks are found in more moderate conditions.
Chinkapin oak is fairly common in this area, although there are few examples on campus.