Chestnut Oak Tree - Quercus prinus
The Chestnut Oak Tree is part of the Beech Family and is a durable plant that often grows in the Appalachian area of the United States and throughout hardiness zones four through eight. It is partial to soils that are well-drained and acidic in nature, but it can adapt to grow well in areas with low acidity, rocky, and loose soils. It is mainly found in the Eastern part of the U.S. or the Midwest regions. It is often found in hilly and mountainous areas. This stunning species is often characterized by the deep, dark furrows that it gets in the bark when it grows older. The tree can reach as tall as 60 feet and as wide as 50 feet around. The shape often varies between oval, pyramid, and rounded. The Chestnut Oak Tree loves to thrive in areas with full sun or partial shade, often beating out other tree species to take over resources.
The tree is often recognized with the long, dark V-shaped trenches in the light gray bark. The leaves are wide and flat with round and grooved teeth. They are easily identified by the leathery texture of the leaf. The underside of the leaf is a greenish color compared to the white bellies of other Oak species. One of the interesting things about this tree is that it is durable enough for furniture making. It also made an excellent fuel source for families in Ohio that had iron stoves for their primary source of heat through the winter. The wood was often used to fuel massive coal stoves that heated homes for years. Many birds, squirrels, deer and other animals like the Black Bear enjoy the acorns produced by the Chestnut Oak Tree. It is a vital source of nutrition for local Ohio wildlife. The acorns do not have the usual cap around the fruit like seen in most tree species. Instead, it is characterized by the even rows of scales on the fruit.