About the Zoo | Employment | Volunteer | Press

Pin Oak

Scientific Name

Quercus palustris

Origin

Native to eastern North America from Ontario south to North Carolina, westward to the edge of Great Plains and as far south as Tennessee and central Arkansas.    

Habitat

A lowland hardwood species.  Is generally found in floodplain areas, wetlands and bottomland areas, generally less than 800 ft. in elevation. Does not like sloped areas.  

Growth Nature

Pin Oaks take on a strongly pyramidal shape growth, reaching heights on average between 70 to 90 ft. and diameters of the trunk of 2 to 3 ft.  In really good conditions they can reach 120+ ft.  Lower branches tend to droop towards the ground.   

Points of Interest

  • The wood of the pin oak is heavy and hard and is typically used for firewood, wood pulp, and railroad ties. The tendency to warp does not make the wood good for dimensional lumber. 

  • Acorns do not grow on a tree until it reaches about 20 years in age.

  • Acorns are valued by wildlife, such as deer, squirrels, turkeys, waterfowl, and woodpeckers.  Ducks and migratory waterfowl depend on these trees during their fall migration.

  • Provides seasonal nesting sites for waterfowl and pigeons.

  • Pin Oak gets its name from a practice of using its hard wood for “pinning together” the timbers of barns.