These are the leaves of an oak tree! Shingle Oak does not sport the typical lobed leaves we expect when we think of an oak tree. The glossy leaves provide a refined look in the landscape, belying its sturdy ability to tolerate drought and juglones from walnuts. The fall color ranges from reddish/yellow brown to dull brown. The leaves tend to hang on through winter providing visual interest.
It grows at a moderate rate of about 12”-18” per year, reaching about 60’ or so at maturity. Its wood was once used by early settlers in the Midwest for shingles, resulting in its common name. Shingle Oak prefers full or partial sun and adapts to many soil types, including loam, alkaline soil, clay, clay-loam, sand, and some rocky material. One thing it does require is good drainage.
Shingle Oak grows naturally in upland woodlands, well-drained areas of floodplain woodlands, edges of bluffs, tall riverbanks, and fence rows.
Shingle oak can be easier to transplant than some oaks and adapts and establishes quickly, even though it does have a taproot. Our Shingle Oaks, along with many of the other oak trees in stock, are grown in fabric root pots by a local grower. The fabric pots eliminate roots circling. With less need to cut these roots, there is little to no transplant shock.
Grown by an ISA Certified Arborist, the root flares are visible at the top and the trees are pruned to be structurally sound for the long run. This system produces trees that are superior without the guesswork to eliminate girdling roots and manually locate root flares. You can remove the fabric pot by opening its velcro closure (and we’ll be happy to take it back to use again!) If there is no velcro closure, slice it from top to bottom with a utility knife and peel the fabric off.
Ecosystem Benefits of Shingle Oak
Unlike its leaves, the acorns of Shingle Oak are quite typical – about 1/2 to 2/3 inch long topped with a thin cap enclosing the top 1/3 of the nut. They develop and mature over a two-year period, finally maturing during the fall of their second year. So at any given time, you may see immature acorns on the tree. They are eaten by many birds and mammals: Wild Turkey, Bobwhite, Blue Jay, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse Black Bear, Opossum, Raccoon, Southern Flying Squirrel, Gray Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk, White-Footed Mouse, and White-Tailed Deer.
Like all oaks, Shingle Oak is a master performer in the ecosystem. It supports caterpillars of Hairstreak butterflies and Duskywing skippers and the caterpillars of other moths. It also supports aphids, treehoppers, plant bugs, lace bugs, leaf beetles and the larvae of a number of other beetles, gall wasps, grasshoppers and more — including one of the most interesting insects around — the Walkingstick.
Oaks support a large number of insects. As a result, you will often find insectivorous birds near oaks, such as warblers, thrushes, vireos, and flycatchers. Since it evolved in the ecosystem, twigs and foliage are browsed by White-Tailed Deer. Protect with deer spray or a cage when young if deer are an issue for your landscape.
It goes without saying that the cavities in older oak trees provide dens for mammals and cavity-nesting birds; and that many birds can build nests along the leafy branches.This is a great time to plant an oak tree.
You know the saying: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Stop in Mondays- Saturdays. Opening at 9 am, last checkout at 4 pm.