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Quercus laevis

Pronunciation: Kwer-kus lee-vis
Family: Fagaceae (beech family)
Common Name: Turkey oak, blackjack oak
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 25-35'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Turkey oak usually grows as a shrub and rarely attains tree status. Turkey oak leaves are 5-12 in (12-30 cm) long, with 3-5 (rarely 7) deeply dissected lobes, each sharply pointed at its tip. They tend to hang down and may all face the same way during hot, sunny days. The acorns are large, about one inch (2. 5 cm) long, with a cup that enclose about a third of the nut. The acorns mature in two growing seasons
Propagation: Turkey oak acorns take two years to mature, then they need a pre-chilling period before they will germinate. Even short term storage of acorns is difficult to impossible. The best procedure is to plant the acorns in the fall, as soon as they fall from the tree. They will germinate the following spring, sending down a taproot first, then the beginnings of an above ground trunk. As a group, oaks tend to be difficult to propagate from cuttings.
Notes for Identification: Turkey oak is rarely seen in cultivation, but it can be very common on former high pine sites awaiting development. The natural succession of plant communities in the uplands of the american southeast seems to be: longleaf pine savanna (high pine) succeeds to turkey oak barrens which succeeds to residential subdivision. If you do plant a turkey oak you will have a fast growing, carefree tree that needs no supplemental watering or fertilizing. It will provide abundant acorn crops for squirrels, deer, turkeys, and other critters. It will not get huge if planted on a poor, dry, sandy site. On good, rich soil, in full sun, with abundant moisture, it will amaze you with the speed of its growth and its eventual sizeduring hot summer afternoons, turkey oak leaves align with the sun, presenting only their thin edges to the sun's drying rays. In autumn the leaves turn red-brown and often persist on the tree for several weeks into winter. Turkey oak bark is thick, providing protection from the nearly annual natural fires that formerly swept across the high pine landscape. Plant info from: floridata
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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