11. Pin Oak

(Quercus palustris)

Other Common Name: Swamp Spanish Oak

Family: Fagaceae

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Stevens Way and the nearby vicinity have several Pin Oaks. Native to the eastern U.S., this species is a strong, undemanding urban shade tree. Pin Oak  bears deeply lobed leaves, small acorns, and pretty fall color. On young trees the dead leaves hang on to the branches through the winter and fall off when new leaves appear in the spring. The name "pin" refers to plentiful slender twigs, which end up ultimately as pin-like knots in the wood.


The pin oak thrives in bottom lands or moist uplands and is often found growing on poorly drained clay soils. The acorns of the pin oak are an important food source for mallards and wood ducks during their fall migration. The acorns are also a food source for deer, squirrels, turkeys, woodpeckers, and blue jays. Mulch made from the leaves will repel slugs and grubs. The galls that form on the trunk can be used to produce black ink, and the wood has been used for the production of shingles, furniture, and wooden nails. Twenty four oak species exist on campus including: Cork Oak, Red Oak, Bur Oak, Shumard Red Oak and Oregon White Oak

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