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Chinkapin Oak Tree
Top 20 Shade Trees for San Antonio!
Custom Plant Information by Wilson Landscape Nursery & Florist- Helotes, Texas
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# 10—Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)
You have come to a great tree in your search! We at Wilson's hope that you find this plant information to be helpful and interesting. Let us know if we can help you further as you search for that special tree.
Our information is based upon decades of loving trees, learning about trees, growing trees, maintaining trees, talking about trees, selling trees. planting trees, watching trees grow, enjoying the beauty of trees and being grateful to God for creating trees!
“The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” “And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 2:9; 1:12)
Strengths and Weaknesses Listed
All of our plant information sheets will eventually include a section on weaknesses instead of just strengths. All trees have weaknesses and strengths. In order to thoroughly evaluate a tree, you should consider both. Let me begin by offering some strengths of Chinkapin Oak and then I will describe some weaknesses. You will be happy to discover that this trees strengths overcome its weaknesses! In fact, from our viewpoint, Chinkapin Oak makes the “Top-Ten” list coming in at #10. But perhaps, it will become your number #1 choice.
Strength: Interesting Leaves
My favorite thing about the Chinkapin Oak is the distinctively saw- toothed leaf edges. No other tree in our area has leaves like this. Chinkapin Oaks offer a unique visual presentation. You will notice the difference and wonder about what kind of tree that is. It shows off a squatty rounded crown full of luscious leaves that are dark rich green. And the way the leaves hang slightly on the tree is interesting. It is definitely a worthwhile addition to most landscapes.
Strength: A True Area Native
Chinkapin Oak is a Hill Country area native. Though it is not common, it is a usual occurrence on our Hill Country river basins and tributaries. You will never see a Chinkapin Oak out of these basin areas unless it has been planted. It is always good to plant native trees from our area, especially ones that have been underused.
Strength: A Texas Superstar
Chinkapin Oak has been designated a Texas Superstar reserved only for plants that do exceptionally well throughout many parts of Texas.
Strength: Drought Tolerant
I have seen these trees planted in areas where they receive little water and some of them look very good under these conditions. But where they truly shine is in an environment with some supplemental irrigation and soil enhancement.
Strength: Fall Foliage
Chinkapin Oak shows off some nice fall foliage from yellow to orange-brown.
Strength: Moderate Size and Growth Rate
Chinkapin Oak is a good size for many residential lots. In our area it grows about 45 feet tall and 30 feet wide. It has a moderate rate of growth, perhaps 3 feet per year, all the way around, but can be sped up or slowed down by the amount of supplemental irrigation.
The Unusual Name: “Chinkapin”
The unusual name “Chinkapin” comes from an Algonquian native American language and means “berry” or “fruit” describing the edible nut. This name was used to describe the similar but different species called Chinkapin or Chestnut trees from the Southeastern U.S. It originally became th common name for our native Chinkapin Oak because our tree looks so much like these other Chinkapin Oaks of the Southeast which are also called Chinkapin Oaks or Chestnut Oaks. These are the ones that have a nut encased in a prickly burr called a “Chinkapin nut.” The leaves of our native Chinkapin and the Chestnut are almost identical with subtle differences. The acorns of our native Chinkapins are still a favorite of wildlife though they are not the same as the Chestnut Oak.
Comparing Chinkapin Oaks to Monterrey Oaks
Chinkapin Oaks and Monterrey Oaks are both in the White Oak family and the leaves are shaped somewhat alike. They can be told apart by the distinctively saw- toothed edges of the Chinkapin, since Monterrey Oaks also show some toothing but not nearly as distinct. Some Chinkapin leaves are more rounded to linear whereas Monterrey Oak leaves are usually linear. Perhaps the popularity of Monterrey Oaks has caused Chinkapin Oaks to be overlooked. Both are great trees.
Weaknesses of Chinkapin Oak
All trees have weaknesses and strengths. In order to thoroughly evaluate a tree, you should consider both. You will be happy to discover that this trees strengths overcome its weaknesses!
Weakness: Drought Looks
Keep in mind that the Chinkapin Oak is native to river basin areas throughout the Hill Country. There is ample water for its roots to reach and deep soil in which to grow. I have seen Chinkapin Oaks planted in parking lot islands with parking lot base underneath a thin layer of topsoil without supplemental irrigation. Though these trees are drought tolerant there is a limit to their adaptability. Even if they can survive tough conditions, this does not mean that they will look good in that kind of environment.
Trees Available at Wilson's
At Wilson's most of our Chinkapin Oaks have been grown from seeds gathered from area trees. We especially like to gather acorns from Hill Country sources. These trees are most adapted to our climate and conditions since Chinkapins grow throughout the Southeast and these may not be as well-adapted to our area as local sources.
A Blessing For You
We hope that this plant information helps you as you search for that perfect tree. Whichever tree you choose, may it bring you many years of beauty and peace.
May you and your tree be “like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” (Psalm 1:3)
So if you are interested in browsing or buying a Chinkapin Oak Tree in Helotes, please come check out our nursery at 14650 Bandera Road. We grow all of our own trees from the ground up and treat them with the best quality fertilizer so that you get a healthy, beautiful tree each time!
If you are interested in buying or browsing Chinkapin Oak Trees in Helotes or San Antonio, Wilson Landscape has an impressive stock of all sizes and shapes of trees. We grow all of our trees from acorns and seeds and only use the best fertilizers. We have beautiful Chinkapin Oaks to choose from, and we offer lower prices and better products than Lowes and Home Depot. We specialize in tree growing, and we only grown native and well adapted Texas trees, so you can be sure they will flourish. Best of all, Glenn and Sherry are plant experts and would love to answer any and all questions and concerns you may have about your specific tree needs. Our knowledge is something that is hard to find at chain garden stores. Come on in or give us a call today!
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