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Chinkapin Oak
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Quercus
Species: Q. muehlenbergii
Binomial name
Quercus muehlenbergii
Engelm.

The Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) is an oak in the white oak group (Quercus sect. Quercus). It is native to eastern North America, from Vermont and southern Ontario west to Iowa, south to northwest Florida and eastern Texas, with disjunct populations in west Texas and southeast New Mexico, and eastern Mexico from Coahuila south to Hidalgo. It is occasionally seen outside its native range with examples at Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Raleigh, North Carolina and Lake Worth, Florida.

Contents

Description

It is a deciduous tree reaching 30 m tall (exceptionally up to 50 m), with a rounded crown and thin, scaly or flaky bark on the trunk. The name comes from the resemblance of the leaves to those of a chestnut or chinquapin, although they also greatly resemble the chestnut oak or swamp chestnut oak; coarsely toothed, 5-15 cm long and 4-8 cm broad. The acorns are 1.5-2 cm long, and mature in about 6 months after pollination.

The scientific name honors Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg (1753–1815), a Lutheran pastor and amateur botanist in Pennsylvania. Because the name may be spelled "Mühlenberg" with an umlaut over the "u", the scientific name is commonly spelled muehlenbergii.


Key Characteristics: [1]

The leaf base is typically more rounded.

The veins and sinuses are regular.

Acorns on short stalks and turn chestnut brown in the fall.

The leafs have sharp teeth but no bristles- member of the white oak subgenus.

Associated Cover

Chinkapin oak is rarely a predominant tree, but it grows in association with many other species. It is a component of the forest cover type White Oak-Black Oak-Northern Red Oak (Society of American Foresters Type 52) and the Post Oak-Blackjack Oak (Type 40) (2).

It grows in association with white oak (Quercus alba), black oak (Q. uelutina), northern red oak (Q. rubra), scarlet oak (Q. coccinea), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), red maple (A. rubrum), hickories (Carya spp.), black cherry (Prunus serotina), cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminata), white ash (Fraxinus americana), American basswood (Tilia americana), black walnut (Juglans nigra), butternut (J. cinerea), and yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). American beech (Fagus grandifolia), shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata), pitch pine (P. rigida), Virginia pine (P. uirginiana), Ozark chinkapin (Castanea ozarkensis), eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), bluejack oak (Quercus incana), southern red oak (Q. falcata), blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica), and winged elm (Ulmus alata) also grow in association with chinkapin oak. In the Missouri Ozarks a redcedar-chinkapin oak association has been described.

The most common small tree and shrub species found in association with chinkapin oak include flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), sourwood (Oxydendron arboreum), eastern hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), Vaccinium spp., Viburnum spp., hawthorns (Crataegus spp.), and sumacs (Rhus spp.). The most common woody vines are wild grape (Vitis spp.) and greenbrier (Smilax spp.).

Soil and Topography

Chinkapin oak is generally found on well-drained upland soils derived from limestone or where limestone outcrops occur. Occasionally it is found on well-drained limestone soils along streams. The Chinkapin oak is generally found on soils that are weakly acid (pH about 6.5) to alkaline (above pH 7.0). It grows on both northerly and southerly aspects but is more common on the warmer southerly aspects. It is absent or rare at high elevations in the Appalachians.

Flowering and Fruiting

Chinkapin oak is monoecious in flowering habit; flowers emerge in April to late May or early June. The staminate flowers are borne in catkins that develop from the leaf axils of the previous year, and the pistillate flowers develop from the axils of the current year's leaves. The fruit, an acorn or nut, is borne singly or in pairs, matures in 1 year, and ripens in September or October. About half of the acorn is enclosed in a thin cup and is chestnut brown to nearly black.

Uses

The Chinkapin Oak is especially known for its sweet acorns. The acorns are sweet and palatable. Indeed, the nuts contained inside of the thin shell are among the sweetest of any oak; they taste excellent even when eaten raw. These acorns provide an excellent source of food for both wildlife and people. The acorns are eaten by squirrels, mice, voles, chipmunks, deer, turkey, and other birds. Like the other members of the white oak family, the wood of the Chinkapin oak is a durable hardwood prized for many types of construction.[citation needed]

Reaction to Competition

Chinkapin oak is classed as intolerant of shade. It withstands moderate shading when young but becomes more intolerant of shade with age. It is regarded as a climax species on dry, drought prone soils, especially those of limestone origin. On more moist sites it is subclimax to climax. It is often found as a component of the climax vegetation in stands on mesic sites with limestone soils. However, many oak-hickory stands on moist sites that contain chinkapin oak are succeeded by the climax beech, maple, and ash,

Damaging Agents

Severe wildfire kills saplings and small pole-size trees but these re-sprout. However, fire scars serve as entry points for decay-causing fungi, and the resulting decay can cause serious losses.

Oak wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum), a vascular disease, attacks Chinkapin oak and usually kills the tree within 2 to 4 years. Other diseases that attack Chinkapin oak include the cankers Strumella coryneoidea and Nectria galligena, shoestring root rot (Armillarea mellea), anthracnose (Gnomonia veneta), and leaf blister (Taphrina spp.).

The most serious defoliating insects that attack Chinkapin oak are the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), the orangestriped oakworm (Anisota senatoria), and the variable oakleaf caterpillar (Heterocampa manteo). Insects that bore into the bole and seriously degrade the products cut from infested trees include the carpenterworm (Prionoyxstus robiniae), little carpenterworm (P. macmurtrei), white oak borer (Goes tigrinus), Columbian timber beetle (Corthylus columbianus), oak timberworm (Arrhenodes minutus), and twolined chestnut borer (Agrilus bilineatus). The acorn weevils (Curculio spp.), larvae of moths (Valentinia glandulella and Melissopus latiferreanus), and gall forming cynipids (Callirhytis spp.) attack and destroy the acorns.

Similar species

Chinkapin oak is closely related to the smaller but generally similar dwarf chinkapin oak (Quercus prinoides). Besides the differences in size, the two species can be distinguished by their typical habitat: chinquapin oak is typically found on calcareous soils and rocky slopes while dwarf chinkapin oak is more likely to be found on sandy soils. Although these two oaks are generally regarded as separate species, they are sometimes considered to belong to the same species. Interestingly, when the two are considered to be conspecific, the larger chinkapin oak is often identified as a variety of dwarf chinkapin oak (as Quercus prinoides var. acuminata) because the later was described first.

Chinkapin oak is also sometimes confused with the related chestnut oak. However, unlike the pointed teeth on the leaves of the chinkapin oak, the chestnut oak generally has rounded teeth. Unfortunately, this distinction is often not readily apparent. A more reliable means of distinguishing the two is by the bark. Chinkapin oak has a gray, flaky bark very similar to white oak but with a more yellow-brown cast to it, hence the occasional name yellow oak. Chestnut oak has dark, solid, deeply ridged bark that is very different. The chinkapin oak also has smaller acorns than the chestnut or swamp chestnut oaks, which have some of the largest.

References

  1. ^ Barnes, B. V. & Wagner Jr., W. H. (2008). Michigan Trees University of Michigan Press

Gallery

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Chinkapin Oak
File:Chinkapin
Chinkapin oak
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Quercus
Species: Q. muehlenbergii
Binomial name
Quercus muehlenbergii
Engelm.
File:Quercus muehlenbergii

The chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) is an oak in the white oak group (Quercus sect. Quercus). The name is also spelled chinquapin oak. It is native to eastern North America, from Vermont and southern Ontario west to Iowa, south to northwest Florida and eastern Texas, with disjunct populations in west Texas and southeast New Mexico, and eastern Mexico from Coahuila south to Hidalgo. It is occasionally seen outside its native range with examples at Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Raleigh, North Carolina and Lake Worth, Florida.

Contents

Description

It is a deciduous tree reaching 30 m tall (exceptionally up to 50 m), with a rounded crown and thin, scaly or flaky bark on the trunk. The name comes from the resemblance of the leaves to those of a chestnut or chinquapin, although they also greatly resemble the chestnut oak or swamp chestnut oak; coarsely toothed, 5–15 cm long and 4–8 cm broad. The acorns are 1.5–2 cm long, and mature in about 6 months after pollination.

The scientific name honors Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg (1753–1815), a Lutheran pastor and amateur botanist in Pennsylvania. Because the name may be spelled "Mühlenberg" with an umlaut over the "u", the scientific name is commonly spelled muehlenbergii.

Key Characteristics:[1]

The leaf base is typically more rounded.

The veins and sinuses are regular.

Acorns on short stalks and turn chestnut brown in the fall.

The leafs have sharp teeth but no bristles- member of the white oak subgenus.

Associated Cover

Chinkapin oak is rarely a predominant tree, but it grows in association with many other species. It is a component of the forest cover type White Oak-Black Oak-Northern Red Oak (Society of American Foresters Type 52) and the Post Oak-Blackjack Oak (Type 40) (2).

It grows in association with white oak (Quercus alba), black oak (Q. velutina), northern red oak (Q. rubra), scarlet oak (Q. coccinea), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), red maple (A. rubrum), hickories (Carya spp.), black cherry (Prunus serotina), cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminata), white ash (Fraxinus americana), American basswood (Tilia americana), black walnut (Juglans nigra), butternut (J. cinerea), and yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). American beech (Fagus grandifolia), shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata), pitch pine (P. rigida), Virginia pine (P. uirginiana), Ozark chinkapin (Castanea ozarkensis), eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), bluejack oak (Quercus incana), southern red oak (Q. falcata), blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica), and winged elm (Ulmus alata) also grow in association with chinkapin oak. In the Missouri Ozarks a redcedar-chinkapin oak association has been described.

The most common small tree and shrub species found in association with chinkapin oak include flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), sourwood (Oxydendron arboreum), eastern hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), Vaccinium spp., Viburnum spp., hawthorns (Crataegus spp.), and sumacs (Rhus spp.). The most common woody vines are wild grape (Vitis spp.) and greenbrier (Smilax spp.).

Soil and Topography

Chinkapin oak is generally found on well-drained upland soils derived from limestone or where limestone outcrops occur. Occasionally it is found on well-drained limestone soils along streams. The Chinkapin oak is generally found on soils that are weakly acid (pH about 6.5) to alkaline (above pH 7.0). It grows on both northerly and southerly aspects but is more common on the warmer southerly aspects. It is absent or rare at high elevations in the Appalachians.

Flowering and Fruiting

Chinkapin oak is monoecious in flowering habit; flowers emerge in April to late May or early June. The staminate flowers are borne in catkins that develop from the leaf axils of the previous year, and the pistillate flowers develop from the axils of the current year's leaves. The fruit, an acorn or nut, is borne singly or in pairs, matures in 1 year, and ripens in September or October. About half of the acorn is enclosed in a thin cup and is chestnut brown to nearly black.

Uses

The Chinkapin Oak is especially known for its sweet acorns. The acorns are sweet and palatable. Indeed, the nuts contained inside of the thin shell are among the sweetest of any oak; they taste excellent even when eaten raw. These acorns provide an excellent source of food for both wildlife and people. The acorns are eaten by squirrels, mice, voles, chipmunks, deer, turkey, and other birds. Like the other members of the white oak family, the wood of the Chinkapin oak is a durable hardwood prized for many types of construction.[citation needed]

Reaction to Competition

Chinkapin oak is classed as intolerant of shade. It withstands moderate shading when young but becomes more intolerant of shade with age. It is regarded as a climax species on dry, drought prone soils, especially those of limestone origin. On more moist sites it is subclimax to climax. It is often found as a component of the climax vegetation in stands on mesic sites with limestone soils. However, many oak-hickory stands on moist sites that contain chinkapin oak are succeeded by the climax beech, maple, and ash,

Damaging Agents

Severe wildfire kills saplings and small pole-size trees but these re-sprout. However, fire scars serve as entry points for decay-causing fungi, and the resulting decay can cause serious losses.

Oak wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum), a vascular disease, attacks Chinkapin oak and usually kills the tree within 2 to 4 years. Other diseases that attack Chinkapin oak include the cankers Strumella coryneoidea and Nectria galligena, shoestring root rot (Armillarea mellea), anthracnose (Gnomonia veneta), and leaf blister (Taphrina spp.).

The most serious defoliating insects that attack Chinkapin oak are the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), the orangestriped oakworm (Anisota senatoria), and the variable oakleaf caterpillar (Heterocampa manteo). Insects that bore into the bole and seriously degrade the products cut from infested trees include the carpenterworm (Prionoyxstus robiniae), little carpenterworm (P. macmurtrei), white oak borer (Goes tigrinus), Columbian timber beetle (Corthylus columbianus), oak timberworm (Arrhenodes minutus), and twolined chestnut borer (Agrilus bilineatus). The acorn weevils (Curculio spp.), larvae of moths (Valentinia glandulella and Melissopus latiferreanus), and gall forming cynipids (Callirhytis spp.) attack and destroy the acorns.

Similar species

Chinkapin oak is closely related to the smaller but generally similar dwarf chinkapin oak (Quercus prinoides). Besides the differences in size, the two species can be distinguished by their typical habitat: chinquapin oak is typically found on calcareous soils and rocky slopes while dwarf chinkapin oak is more likely to be found on sandy soils. Although these two oaks are generally regarded as separate species, they are sometimes considered to belong to the same species. Interestingly, when the two are considered to be conspecific, the larger chinkapin oak is often identified as a variety of dwarf chinkapin oak (as Quercus prinoides var. acuminata) because the later was described first.

Chinkapin oak is also sometimes confused with the related chestnut oak. However, unlike the pointed teeth on the leaves of the chinkapin oak, the chestnut oak generally has rounded teeth. Unfortunately, this distinction is often not readily apparent. A more reliable means of distinguishing the two is by the bark. Chinkapin oak has a gray, flaky bark very similar to white oak but with a more yellow-brown cast to it, hence the occasional name yellow oak. Chestnut oak has dark, solid, deeply ridged bark that is very different. The chinkapin oak also has smaller acorns than the chestnut or swamp chestnut oaks, which have some of the largest.

References

  1. ^ Barnes, B. V. & Wagner Jr., W. H. (2008). Michigan Trees University of Michigan Press

Gallery


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fagales
Familia: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Species: Quercus muehlenbergii

Name

Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm.

Reference

  • Transactions of the Academy of Science of Saint Louis. St. Louis, MO 3:391. 1877
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06].

Vernacular names

English: Chinkapin oak

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