Revised June 2008

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Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

Pin oak (Quercus palustris)

Large trees

Pin oak
  • Maximum height
    70 feet
  • Relative growth rate
    Good
  • Freedom from insect pests
    Good
  • Freedom from disease problems
    Good
  • Resistance to storm damage
    Excellent
  • Will grow on poorly drained soil
    Good
  • Will grow in hot, dry areas
    Poor
  • Easy to transplant
    Good
  • Withstands city conditions
    Good

Pin oak continues to be among the most popular shade trees for home landscapes. The branching habit of the pin oak is unique. The upper branches are ascending, the middle ones horizontal and the lower ones drooping. This branching habit makes pin oak a poor choice as a shade or street tree. As the drooping lower branches are removed to allow for traffic beneath the tree, the horizontal branches begin to droop. Some branches always seem to be hanging down to interfere with traffic. Pin oak should he planted where it has room to assume its natural shape and the branches can be allowed to grow down to the ground. Pin oak will not grow in soil with a high pH. The leaves will turn yellow because of iron chlorosis, and extensive soil treatment will be necessary to return the tree to a healthy condition.

G6800, revised June 2008

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