G6800 Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees | Page 16 | University of Missouri Extension

Revised June 2008

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Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

Pin oak (Quercus palustris)

Large trees

Pin oak

  • Maximum height
    70 feet
  • Relative growth rate
  • Freedom from insect pests
  • Freedom from disease problems
  • Resistance to storm damage
  • Will grow on poorly drained soil
  • Will grow in hot, dry areas
  • Easy to transplant
  • Withstands city conditions

Pin oak continues to be among the most popular shade trees for home landscapes. The branching habit of the pin oak is unique. The upper branches are ascending, the middle ones horizontal and the lower ones drooping. This branching habit makes pin oak a poor choice as a shade or street tree. As the drooping lower branches are removed to allow for traffic beneath the tree, the horizontal branches begin to droop. Some branches always seem to be hanging down to interfere with traffic. Pin oak should he planted where it has room to assume its natural shape and the branches can be allowed to grow down to the ground. Pin oak will not grow in soil with a high pH. The leaves will turn yellow because of iron chlorosis, and extensive soil treatment will be necessary to return the tree to a healthy condition.

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