Pin Oak (Quercus palustri), or the swamp Spanish oak, is an oak in the red oak section (Quercus sect. Lobatae). Pin oak is one of the most commonly used landscaping oaks in its native range due to its ease of transplant, relatively fast growth, and pollution tolerance. Its distinctive shape is considered unique among hardwoods.

Pin Oak Facts

  • Scientific name: Quercus palustris
  • Range: across the Eastern U.S. to the Southwest and the Great Plains
  • Height: up to 100 feet tall
  • Fruit: acorns about 1/2″ long
  • Fall colors: copper brown, reddish orange and scarlet
  • Distinguishing feature: called “pin oak,” because of the pin-like, diminutive spur branches that occur on larger branches. Pin oak acorns are eaten by turkey, deer, squirrels and even ducks.

You Can Take Care of Trees Like the Pin 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 Reba McEntire talk about one of her favorite trees. Video courtesy of The Nature Conservancy and Reba McEntire.