- Size: tree stands up to 60-70 feet tall; leaves range from 3-5” long; acorns up to ¾” long.
- Color: spring and summer leaves are glossy dark green with pale green undersides; fall color is red or brown.
- Habitat: various since tolerant of many soils and conditions.
- Where to observe: all over the five boroughs since this is the 3rd most common street tree; also at Pelham Bay Park, Forest Park, Central Park, and the Oak Allee at Queens Botanical Garden.
Tolerant of tough city conditions including drought, pollution, pests, and storms, it’s no wonder that the majestic Pin Oak is the 3rd most common street tree in New York City.
This toughness belies the tree’s beauty. Pin Oaks can reach heights of 60-70 feet with a straight trunk featuring grayish brown bark and narrow fissures. Glossy dark green leaves with pale green undersides grow to 3-5” long and become red or brown in fall. Leaves are alternately arranged on branches and are dissected by 5-7 deep lobes with U-shaped bases and pointed tips with a little bristle at the end.
Pin Oaks produce brown acorns, ½ – ¾” long which can be distinguished from other by their shallow, saucer-like cups. Acorns take two years to mature but in the meantime are a valuable food source for squirrels, raccoons, various waterfowl, and wild turkeys.
- Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia by Michael A. Dirr, published 1997 by Timber Press.
- Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City by Leslie Day, 2007, Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Native Plants of the Northeast: A Guide for Gardening and Conservation by Donald J. Leopold, published 2005 by Timber Press.
- New York City Trees: A Field Guide for the Metropolitan Area by Edward Sibley Barnard, published 2002 by Columbia University Press.
- Wild New York: A Guide to the Wildlife, Wild Places, and Natural Phenomena of New York City, by Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson, published 1997 by Three Rivers Press.
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