black oak
Quercus velutina

Black oak is a widely distributed eastern deciduous species, offering useful timber and acorn production for wildlife. Black oak can be found growing on a variety of sites, from dry ridges to moist coves. The wood is often marketed as red oak.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Black oak is commonly used for construction lumber, fence posts, furniture, flooring, interior finish, barrels, railroad ties, and firewood.


Wildlife Value
      Numerous wildlife species eat black oak acorns. Fox squirrels have been observed eating the catkins.
          Attracts: squirrels, mice, voles, deer, turkeys, various other birds

Regeneration methods
      Black oak can be regenerated by cleacutting, seed-tree, and possibly large group selection methods. Stump sprouts are helpful for future stocking. Black oak responds well to removal of competition for light.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
oak wilt not of use; decline is sudden and swift
gypsy moth defoliation

Fun facts
Black oak leaves exhibit tremendous plasticity, with sun leaves thickening and expressing deep sinuses. Shade leaves are thin and papery with very shallow sinuses. The wood of black oak is sold as “red oak” and is used in furniture, flooring and interior finishing.
Quercus: Latin name / velutina: Latin "velutum" (velvety, in reference to the buds)
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu