Black Oak
Quercus velutina

Location in Ontario
Black Oak grows throughout the Deciduous Forest Region. It grows on dry, sandy soil, or in heavy soil on steep slopes.


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 acorns (seeds) that develop over two years. White Oaks have leaves with rounded lobes or simple leaves with sharp teeth and acorns (seeds) that develop over one year. Acorns are a one-seeded nut with a tough shell, and a scaly cap which attaches to the tree. 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 is a favoured wood 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

In the Landscape
Black Oak is a medium sized tree that grows up to 25 metres and can live to be over 200 years old.  Black Oaks are beautiful trees with attractive bark and wide spreading branches. They have a moderate growth rate to a large girth, but a medium height. Leaves do not decay readily and will persist under the tree along with acorns.


Large Black Oak, Rondeau Provincial Park

Leaves
Black Oak leaves are simple with 5 to 7 pointed lobes and deep sinuses. Leaves turn yellow in the fall.
Bark
The bark is almost black with square ridges.
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. Flowers occur before or with leaves and are wind pollinated.
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 seed crops occur every 2 to 3 years, after 20 years of growth.

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


Beautiful large black Oak, Norfolk County

Link to United States Forest Service Silvics Manual for Black Oak.

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