Oak, Chinkapin

Quercus muehlenbergiiDeciduous

Next to bur oak, chinkapin oak is the second most adaptable white oak that can be grown in Nebraska. It has a wide geographic distribution occurring naturally from Mexico to southern Canada and is native to the southeast part of Nebraska.

Chinkapin Oak
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Where To Grow

Perhaps in part because of its tolerance of higher pH soils, it has been planted successfully across the state proving quite adaptable to a wide variety of conditions. Chinkapin is sometimes used for landscaping as a small ornamental tree or shrub. Its flowers are attractive but have an unpleasant odor.
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Suitable to plant throughout the state.
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Size at Maturity

Tree Height Tree Spread
40-60' 40-50'
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Tree Characteristics

The common name ‘chinkapin’ is actually an alternative common name for chestnut which refers to this tree’s chestnut-like leaves that are rather narrow and broadly serrated. Chinkapin oak has a distinctive flaky, gray-yellowish bark as it matures, leading to one of its other common names—the yellow oak.  

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Wildlife Benefits

Squirrels, chipmunks, opossums, white-tailed deer, blue jays, woodpeckers and other birds consume chinkapin nuts. White-tailed deer browse the foliage.

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Additional Considerations

Similar species tree collectors could try are the dwarf chinkapin and chestnut oaks. 

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Interesting Facts

The Cherokee Indians used dried leaves as washes to alleviate headaches, fevers, chills, cold sweats, and fever blisters. The Koasati Indians used the roots of chinkapin as a decoction for stomachaches.

Additional Images

chinkapin oak leaves
chinkapin oak