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Black Oak (quercus Velutina)

Distinguishing characters: The *bark* is black, rough and cut up into

firm *ridges* especially at the base of the tree, see Fig. 59. The

_inner bark_ has a _bright yellow color_: the *leaves* have _sharp

points_ and are wider at the base than at the tip as shown in Fig.

60. The buds are _large, downy_ and _sharp pointed_. The acorns are

small and have deep, scaly cups the inner margins of which are

downy. The kernels are yellow and bitter.

Form and size: The tree grows in an irregular form to large size, with

its branches rather slender as compared with the white oak and with

a more open and narrow crown.

Range: Eastern North America.

Soil and location: It will grow in poor soils but does best where the

soil is rich and well drained.

Enemies: None of importance.

Value for planting: The black oak is the poorest of the oaks for

planting and is rarely offered by nurserymen.

Commercial value: The wood is heavy, hard and strong, but checks readily

and is coarse grained. It is of little value except for fuel. The

bark is used for tannin.

Other common names: _Yellow oak_.

Comparisons: The black oak might sometimes be confused with the _red_

and _scarlet oaks_. The yellow, bitter inner bark will distinguish

the black oak from the other two. The light-colored, smooth bark of

the red oak and the dark, ridged bark of the black oak will

distinguish the two, while the bark of the scarlet oak has an

appearance intermediate between the two. The buds of the three

species also show marked differences. The buds of the black oak are

covered with hairs, those of the scarlet oak have fewer hairs and

those of the red are practically free from hairs. The leaves of each

of the three species are distinct and the growth habits are


Tree Studies

How To Identify Trees
Group I The Pines
The White Pine (pinus Strobus)
The Pitch Pine (pinus Rigida)
The Scotch Pine (pinus Sylvestris)
Group Ii The Spruce And Hemlock
The Norway Spruce (picea Excelsa)
Hemlock (tsuga Canadensis)
Group Iii The Red Cedar And Arbor-vitae
Red Cedar (juniperus Virginiana)
Arbor-vitae; Northern White Cedar (thuja Occidentalis)
Group Iv The Larch And Cypress
The European Larch (larix Europaea)
Bald Cypress (taxodium Distichum)
Group V The Horsechestnut, Ash And Maple
The Horsechestnut
The White Ash (fraxinus Americana)
Sugar Maple (acer Saccharum)
Silver Maple (acer Saccharinum)
Red Maple (acer Rubrum)
Norway Maple (acer Platanoides)
Box Elder (acer Negundo)
Group Vi Trees Told By Their Form: Elm, Poplar, Gingko And Willow
American Elm (ulmus Americana)
Lombardy Or Italian Poplar (populus Nigra, Var Italica)
Gingko Or Maidenhair Tree (gingko Biloba)
Weeping Willow (salix Babylonica)
Group Vii Trees Told By Their Bark Or Trunk: Sycamore, Birch, Beech,
Blue Beech, Ironwood, And Hackberry
The Sycamore Or Plane Tree (platanus Occidentalis)
Gray Or White Birch (betula Populifolia)
American Beech (fagus Americana)
Blue Beech Or Hornbeam (carpinus Caroliniana)
Hackberry (celtis Occidentalis)
Group Viii The Oaks And Chestnut
White Oak (quercus Alba)
Black Oak (quercus Velutina)
Red Oak (quercus Rubra)
Pin Oak (quercus Palustris)
Chestnut (castanea Dentata)
Group Ix The Hickories, Walnut And Butternut
Shagbark Hickory (hicoria Ovata)
Mockernut Hickory (hicoria Alba)
Black Walnut (juglans Nigra)
Group X Tulip Tree, Sweet Gum, Linden, Magnolia, Locust, Catalpa,
Dogwood, Mulberry And Osage Orange
Tulip Tree (liriodendron Tulipifera)
Sweet Gum (liquidambar Styraciflua)
American Linden (tilia Americana)
The Magnolias