(Quercus nigra )
The Beech Family (Fagaceae)

Medium to tall tree with alternate, small, thick, leathery, deciduous leaves variable in shape, but often wedge-shaped; and dark gray, smooth-to-scaly bark.


Moist forests, waterways.

Interesting Facts: 

Rapidly growing, short-lived oak that commonly hybridizes with other red oak species. Though deciduous, leaves will remain on the tree well into the winter. Acorns edible after removing tannins and galls used as an astringent. Host to the Horace’s Duskywing, White M Hairstreak and the Northern Hairstreak butterflies.

Dark .5” long acorns, 1/3 covered by a flattened, scaled cap: acorns ripen in the fall after two years.
Male flowers on catkins; Female flowers borne on spikes, both appearing with the leaves.
Wildlife value: 
Acorns and attracted insects are a valuable food source for mammals and birds. A common nesting tree for birds and squirrels and often a host for parasitic mistletoe.
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 2.00-4.00 inches
Tree height: 60.00-100.00 feet

Where to find Water Oak on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

BCY - Bald Cypress Loop 4.0

TER - Walker Terrace 2.0

WAB - Walker Branch Trail 14.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.