The black oak is a deciduous tree that is considered to be one of the more conventional oaks. The natural wildlife enjoys the acorns of the black oak, while the deer appreciate the small twigs and stems. It is a tree that has a modest level of growth. However, it is known for its stamina and being able to live in a variety of soil types--even unhealthy soil.
Black oak trees typically grow in dry areas that have steep hills and ridges. They grow in the eastern areas of the United States, but reach out to Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and in dry sections of Iowa.
Black oaks reach upwards of 60 to 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 to 2 feet. They have a broad crown with an uneven shape. The bark is a dark shade of brown and smooth in appearance when young. As the tree ages, the bark becomes black and thicker. The inner bark contains tannic acid and is vivid yellow in color. The twigs are plump with sharp points. They range in color from a deeper, rich brown to a brownish red shade.
The acorns on the black oak are round with a soft, fuzzy covering over half of the acorn. They are a light brown in color and have a tart taste. The acorns are from ½ to 1 inch in length. They require two seasons of growth in order to become fully ripe.
The single leaves of the black oak are rich shades of green with a shiny appearance on the top, but a lighter shade underneath. The veins of the leaves contain brown hairs. The leaves are 3 to 6 inches wide and 5 to 10 inches in length. The leaf lobes have pointed tips and vary in depth.
Yellow dye is made from the bark. The wood from the black oak tree is used to make furniture as well as lumber for basic construction jobs.
- Photo Credit oak tree image by Zlatko Ivancok from Fotolia.com
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