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


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 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
Hill's Oak grows up to 20 metres in height. and lives up to 100 years of age. It is a beautiful, fast growing Oak that grows to a medium size. Its best feature is its beautiful scarlet leaves in the fall and its attractive form. The leaves do not decay readily and will persist under the tree along with acorns.

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 from the Arnold Arboretum: The Taxonomy and Dynamics of a Western Great Lakes Endemic 


Hill's Oak, University of Guelph Arboretum

Leaves
The leaves have 5-7 pointed lobes. Leaves are glossy and turn brilliant red in the fall.
Bark
Hill's Oak has bark with shallow, narrow furrows.
Flowers
Hill's Oak is monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Flowers are small, with pollen flowers in catkins and seed flowers in small clusters. Flowers open with the leaves and are wind pollinated.
Fruit
Hill's Oak produces acorns every 2 to 3 years after 20 years of growth. Acorns stay on the tree for two years as they mature.

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

Wood Comparison Chart


Hill's Oak along a road in Norfolk County


Hill's Oak in winter with leaves still attached

Hill's Oak is not included in the United States Forest Service Silvics Manual.

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