Quercus nigra (Water Oak) Unity Grown
- Low stock - 3 items left
- Inventory on the way
Quercus nigra, commonly called water oak, is a medium-sized, relatively short-lived but fast-growing oak, noted for its interesting leaf shape, more narrow and less lobed than other oaks. Although water oaks typically only live to 30 to 50 years old, they can grow to a height of 50-80' tall and up to 70' wide; in that short time, the trunk may get as wide as three and a half feet in diameter! Water oak is typically planted for shade or naturalization purposes, and works great for mitigation or rehabilitation purposes; occasionally used as a specimen tree in parks or yards, care should be taken with choosing the right planting location for water oak, as they are more subject to breakage in storms or with heavy ice. Found in nature in lower, wetter areas, Quercus nigra is tolerant of wet soil and occasional flooding.
As an oak, Quercus nigra produces acorns which, for this species, are rounded (occasionally nearly spherical) with small, woolly caps that barely cover the base of the acorn. Water oak acorns are ecologically valuable to a large number of species, white-tailed deer, black bear, and other smaller mammals as well as a number of bird species, including ducks, woodpeckers, and blue jays.
In addition to acorn value, many Quercus species are regarded as important keystone plants for their support of larval butterflies and moths, and Quercus nigra is no different, acting as a host to several species of hairstreak butterfly and duskywing moths, among others.