Carolinian
and Deciduous Forest Trees

of Southern Ontario

Hill's Oak
Quercus Ellipsoidalis

Location in Ontario:
Hill's Oak has an unusual range, occurring on sandy soil in Norfolk County and Brant County, but also along the Canada-U.S. border west of Lake Superior.


A row of Hill's Oak, St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre, 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: Hill's Oak grows on open sites with sandy soil.

Landscape Use:
Hill's Oak is a beautiful, fast growing Oak with scarlet leaves in the fall. Oak leaves persist on the ground along with acorns.

Leaves: Leaves have 5-7 pointed lobes, and turn brilliant red in the fall.

FALL COLOUR WATCH: scarlet

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

Fruit: Oak seeds are acorns; a one-seeded nut with a tough shell. On top of the acorn is a scaly cup which attaches to the tree. Acorns develop during the summer and may stay on the tree for several years, depending on the species. Hill's Oak produces acorns every 2 to 3 years after 20 years of growth.

Bark: Hill's Oak has bark with shallow, narrow furrows.

Size: Hill's Oak grows up to 20 metres in height.

Wood: Oak wood is hard and heavy with a beautiful grain.
Specific gravity: unavailable
Janka Hardness: unavailable

Wood Comparison Chart

TREE FACT: This rare tree in Canada is also known as Northern "Pin" Oak, however, Hill's Oak is not as similar to Pin Oak as it is to other Oaks. Hill's Oak is not considered to be a separate species by some scientists, but rather a variation of Scarlet Oak. Genetically, it proves to be closer to Black Oak than Scarlet Oak, and its exact classification is still under debate.

More information about Hill's Oak:  Who am I this time? The affinities and misbehaviors of Hill’s oak 


Hills Oak, Norfolk County

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