The Quercus Velutina
is commonly known as Black Oak
, Quercitron Oak
, Smooth-bark Oak
, Smoothbark Oak
, Yellow Butt Oak
, Yellow Oak
, Yellow-bark Oak
, as well as Yellowbark Oak< Go Back
Black oak is widely distributed throughout the eastern and central
United States and extreme southwestern Ontario, Canada. In the United
States, black oak occurs from southwestern Maine west to southern
Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota; south through Iowa to eastern
Nebraska, eastern Kansas, central Oklahoma, and eastern Texas; and east
to northwestern Florida and Georgia [56
The currently accepted scientific name of black oak is Quercus velutina
]. It has been placed within the subgenus Erythrobalanus, or
red (black) oak group [51
]. The following rarely used forms have
been distinguished on the basis of leaf lobe variation and pubescence
Q. v. f. macrophylla (Dippel) Trel.
Q. v. f. dilanianta Trel.
Q. v. f. pagodaeformis Trel.
There appears to be complete integration between the forms [61
northern populations of black oak in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan
have smaller acorns with less cup cover, lighter inner bark, smaller
winter buds, and a more branching growth form than populations in
southern Indiana [56
]. Voss [64
] suggests that these may be hybrids
between black oak and northern red oak (Q. rubra) or scarlet oak (Q.
Black oak hybridizes with the following species [36
x Q. coccinea (scarlet oak): Q. X fontana Laughlin
x Q. ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak): Q. X palaeolithicola Trel.
x Q. falcata (southern red oak): Q. X willdenowiana (Dippel) Zabel
Q. X pinetorum Moldenke
x Q. ilicifolia (bear oak): Q. X rehderi Trel.
x Q. imbricaria (shingle oak): Q. X leana Nutt.
x Q. incana (bluejack oak): Q. X podophylla Trel.
x Q. marilandica (blackjack oak): Q. X bushii Sarg.
x Q. nigra (water oak): Q. X demarei Ashe
x Q. palustris (pin oak): Q. X vaga Palmer & Steyerm.
x Q. phellos (willow oak): Q. X filialis Little
x Q. rubra (northern red oak): Q. X hawkinsiae Sudw.
x Q. shumardii (Shumard oak): Q. X discreta Laughlin
Black oak is a common component of many eastern and central upland
deciduous forests. Black oak also occurs in savannas in the transition
zone between the eastern deciduous forests and the western prairies.
The following published classifications list black oak as a dominant or
Deciduous forest 
Classification of forest ecosystems in Michigan 
The natural communities of South Carolina 
A classification of the deciduous forest of eastern North America 
Forest vegetation of the lower Alabama Piedmont 
Old-growth forests within the Piedmont of South Carolina 
Plant communities of the Coastal Plains of North Carolina and their
successional relations 
Ecological species groups of oak ecosystems of southeastern Michigan 
Presettlement vegetation of Lake County, Indiana 
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Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Carey, Jennifer H. 1992. Quercus velutina. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.