Oak trees are broadleaved trees. The scientific name for oak trees is Quercus. Oaks are hardwood trees that can live well over 200 years. Oak trees are an important source of food for wildlife. Oak trees produce acorns once a year in the fall. Some oaks begin to produce acorns at age 10 and others do not produce until they are 50 years old. Oak trees may not produce acorns every year. The trees need to store up energy after a heavy production year and thus may produce a very light crop or no crop at all. Heavy acorn production may occur only about 4 out of 10 years.
The oak tree family includes several hundred species. Most of the species are deciduous but there are a number of evergreens such as the Live Oak which is grown in southern areas of the United States. Oak trees are important for their wood and lumber production. The wood is durable, tough, and attractively grained. Oak flooring or oak cabinets display the grain qualities of oak wood quite stunningly. Oak trees are magnificent shade trees. These hardwood trees stand strong against nature’s elements such as wind. Many have attractive fall color and some have good winter interest with twisted branching and ridged bark. As a general rule, oak leaves remain on the tree longer in the fall than other trees such as maples, and thus provide for a longer fall show of colorful fall foliage.