Black Oak

Scientific Name: Quercus velutina

Family: Fagaceae

Origin: Eastern and central US

Black Oak

Why is it called Black Oak? The bark is dark gray to black bark. It was previously known as yellow oak because the inner bark has a yellowish pigment called quercitron.

Common Names: Eastern Black Oak, Black Oak, Quercitron Oak, Yellow Oak, Yellow Bark Oak

Mature Height: 50 to 60 feet

Mature Width/Spread: About 60 feet

Leaves: Black Oak leaves alternate, are 5 to 9 inches long, and have 5 to 7 irregular bristle tipped lobes. They are shiny and green on top and yellow-green on the undersurface.

In the fall, the leaves become: Dull red-orange to brown

Historical tidbit: Native Americans used black oak to treat indigestion, chills, fevers, respiratory problems, and sore eyes. It was also used as an antiseptic. 

Did you know …

  • the species name ‘velutina’ is a reference to the underside of the leaves of black oak, which are covered with fine hairs.
  • the acorns are slightly smaller but have a larger cap than the White Oak’s acorns.
  • the yellowish-orange inner bark is bitter tasting.
Black Oak Leaves, Acorns, and Bark