and Deciduous Forest Trees

of Southern Ontario

Black Oak
Quercus Velutina

Location in Ontario:
Black Oak grows throughout the Deciduous Forest Region.

Beautiful Black Oaks in flower, spring, Norfolk County

Genus Quercus: The ten Oaks of Southern Ontario are divided into two categories. Red Oaks have lobed leaves which are pointed and White Oaks have leaves with rounded lobes or simple leaves with sharp teeth. Often, Oak leaves stay on the tree over winter. Oak leaves on the ground are slow to decay, as this is a survival strategy to prevent the growth of other plants nearby. Oaks are monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Oak seeds are acorns. Oak wood is  favoured for flooring and furniture.

8 Oaks of University of Guelph Arboretum
L to R: Shumard, Hill's, Bur, Chinquapin, Dwarf Chinquapin, Red, Swamp White, White. Missing: Black Oak and Pin Oak

Oak Savanna, Turkey Point Provincial Park

Habitat: Black Oak grows on dry, sandy soil, or in heavy soil on steep slopes.

Landscape Use:
Black Oaks are beautiful trees with wide spreading branches and a moderate growth rate. Oak leaves do not decay readily and will persist under the tree along with acorns.

Leaves:  Black Oak leaves are simple with 5 to 7 pointed lobes and deep sinuses.


Flowers: Black Oaks are monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Pollen flowers are in catkins, while seed flowers occur in small clusters.

Fruit: Black Oak has acorns that occur singly or in clusters of two to five. The acorns are about one-third enclosed in a scaly cup. Acorns mature over 2 years. Good good seed crops occur every 2 to 3 years, after 20 years of growth.

Bark: The bark is almost black with square ridges.

Size:  This medium sized tree grows up to 25 metres and can live to be over 200 years old.

Wood: Black Oak wood is hard and heavy, but less so than the other oaks. It is sold as "Red" Oak for furniture and flooring.
Specific gravity: 0.61
Janka Hardness: 1210 lb
Wood Comparison Chart

The blocky bark of Black Oak,
Turkey Point Provincial Park, Norfolk County