Quercus montana

Upland native oak with leaves reminiscent of those of a chestnut

Quercus montana chestnut oak

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA Synonyms:   Quercus prinus

This is an upland species of oak tree. The leaves have 7-16 pairs of rounded teeth. It is named for its resemblance to the unrelated American chestnut leaf. This distinguishes it from the somewhat similar swamp oak (Quercus bicolor) that has 4-6 pairs of teeth per leaf.

There has been a lot of confusion of the chestnut oak and the swamp chestnut oak (Quercus michauxii) and some botanists consider them the same species. The leaves of the chestnut oak are usually somewhat leathery and may be slightly hairy beneath. The twigs are hairless and end buds narrow and sharp, mostly over 3/16 inches long. The trunk of the tree is dark and deeply ridged, a trait used to distinguish it from similar species. The chestnut oak grows 60 to 70 feet tall on average and has a trunk diameter of 3-4 feet.  The fall coloration is red, much like that of the red oak, white oak and pin oak. It is sometimes called the rock oak.

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Common in dry woods and rocky slopes.

Present throughout the state.

Wetland codes

Flowers in late spring.

S-rank:  S5 (Secure)
G-rank:  G5 (Secure)