Chinquapin Oak, also known as the chinkapin, is a deciduous species of tree in the white oak group (Quercus sect. Quercus). The species was often called Quercus acuminata in older literature. Quercus muehlenbergii (often misspelled as muhlenbergii) is native to eastern and central North America. It ranges from Vermont to Minnesota, south to Florida, and west to New Mexico in the United States. In Canada it is only found in southern Ontario, and in Mexico it ranges from Coahuila south to Hidalgo.

Chinkapin Oak Facts

  • Scientific name: Quercus muehlenbergii
  • Other names: chestnut oak, yellow oak, chinquapin oak
  • Range: across the East and Midwest, except for the Atlantic and Gulf coasts
  • Height: up to 80 feet tall
  • Fruit: oval acorns, 1.25″ long, turning black when mature
  • Fall colors: leaves turn shades of yellow, yellow-orange and brown

You Can Take Care of Trees Like the Chinkapin Oak

  • Plant in late fall or winter when the tree is dormant, unless the ground is frozen. 
  • Allow plenty of room for the tree to mature and grow.
  • Water it regularly in its first three years.
  • Spread mulch around the base of the tree. 

If Trees Could Sing…

Click here to see Tim O’Brien talk about one of his favorite trees. Video courtesy of The Nature Conservancy and Tim O’Brien.