Chinkapin Oak

All About the Chinkapin Oak:

Scientific Nomenclature: Quercus muehlenbergii

Common Names: chinkapin oak, chinquapin oak

Mature Height: 70–80 feet

Mature Spread: 80–100 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate 

Attracts Wildlife: Birds, mammals and select butterfly and moth species

Messiness: Showy leaves drop from the tree in autumn. Acorns are produced annually and drop in autumn.

Shape: Round/Oval

Native to Kentucky: Yes

Preferred Soils: Prefers moist or even dry well-drained soils but the chinkapin oak is adaptable to different soil types. Neutral (6.0–8.0pH) or alkaline (>8.0pH) soils are required as the tree needs a soil pH of at least 7 to thrive.

Screening: Has no use as a privacy or screening tree.

Drought Tolerance: Is tolerant of drought and dry soils.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous

Pruning: Chinkapin oaks rarely need pruning unless removing deadwood or damaged branches. If pruning is needed the tree is best pruned in early spring just before new buds begin to open. It’s best to prune out limbs in the crown of the tree to allow light to penetrate to upper portions of the tree and promote growth. This also increases acorn yield in the subsequent autumn.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one chinkapin oak will:

  • Sequester ~1,314 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 298 gallons.