Shingle Oak

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Upright Tree With Unique Leaves and Wildlife Interest

The Shingle Oak (Quercus imbricaria), also known as Northern Laurel Oak, makes an outstanding ornamental tree because it has a straight trunk and an open, broadly rounded crown.

In May or early June the flowers appear as drooping yellowish-green catkins. They are followed by the production of one-half to one-inch-long, dark brown acorns. The elegant, almost whimsical flowers are where the acorns originate.

The smooth, four to six-inch-long leaves begin their development with a red to yellow cast, then deepen to a rich green through the summer. The Shingle Oak leaves turn yellow or reddish-brown in autumn. Identification of these trees is pretty easy because very few oaks have leaves like this one.  Some of the dead leaves often persist on the tree through winter.

This wonderful oak tree offers outstanding ornamental features and provides winter interest with its unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, and even winter flower. The wood of Shingle Oak is extremely durable and was used in pioneer days for split shingles; can easily be split into thin sheets.

This beautiful shade tree thrives best in rich, humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. It does adapt to a wide range of soils including dry ones and needs little pruning to develop a strong structure.

The lovely Shingle Oak shade tree can be used for large lawns or parks, a street tree, or may be pruned for use as a screen or hedge. The acorns are highly valued by wildlife such as deer, squirrel, and turkey. Many birds use it to shelter their nests, and the older trees have cavities that make homes for various birds and mammals.


Shingle Oak Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-8
Growing Zones 5-8
More Information
Brand Nature Hills Nursery
Botanical Name Quercus imbricaria
Foliage Green
Mature Height 40 - 60 feet
Mature Spread 55 - 65 feet
Soil Type Well Drained
Moisture Moderate, Well Drained
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Growth Rate Slow
Flower Color Yellow
Fall Color Red