Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Shingle Oak, Laurel Oak

Shingle Oak, Laurel Oak

Quercus imbricaria

Full sun; moderately wet to moderately dry moisture level; prefers rich loamy soil but adapts to a range of soils including silt loams, sandy loams, and clay loams; requires acidic pH of at least slightly acid or lower.

50-60 feet height by 25-35 feet spread; blooms in spring with male flowers as drooping, yellow catkins 2-3 inches long and inconspicuous female flowers as greenish red spikes; dark brown, dome-shaped acorns, ½ -2/3 inch long, in fall. Acorns require two growing seasons to mature.

Growth Rate: Slow; 6-12 inches per year in first 30 years

Maintenance:   All oaks are susceptible to a large number of diseases, including oak wilt, oak leaf blister, cankers, leaf spots and powdery mildew. Potential insect pests including scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner, oak lace bugs, borers, caterpillars and nut weevils. Notwithstanding these problems, oaks are generally considered to be low maintenance trees.

Propagation: Seed germination code C(30-60) at 41 degrees F. Due to a deep taproot, best to simply plant an acorn directly in ground or do container-grown seedlings in deep containers for no more than 1-2 years. However, it does transplant with less difficulty than many other oaks.

Native Region: Primarily in the Coastal Plain and Interior Low Plateau provinces with limited presence in the Ridge and Valley and in the Blue Ridge provinces

Large, handsome understory tree that typically grows in a conical form with a symmetrical crown, broadening and rounding with age. Golden yellow-brown to russet red fall foliage. Occurs naturally in a variety of locations including dry woods, meadow edges, slopes, ravines, stream margins and bottomlands as well as dry uplands. Considered one of the more easily grown landscape oaks and is a good shade tree for large lawns or parks. Tolerant of city conditions. Common name comes from its use in making rough shingles called shakes.

Very high wildlife value. Attracts songbirds, ground birds, deer and small mammals.


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