Thread: Oak Leaves

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  1. #11

    RE: Oak Leaves

    Yeah that would be neat planting a oak named after the state your in.

    Yep, Pin Oak is not native to GA, Pin oaks native range only extends down to southern TN. The Closest native pin oak range is one spot in southern TN about 40 miles northwest of you or northern Chattanooga.
    Most say the the name Pin Oak comes from the short, tough twigs and branches that are located on the tree. Others believe the name dates back to when the hard, straight-grained wood was cut into slender pins or pegs used to fasten the framework of buildings.

    I think I've heard a person or two incorrectly call a Willow Oak a Pin Oak, I could see how it could be confused in that Willow oak leaves are long and narrow like a pin, but Willow oak gets it's name from the willow like leaves.

  2. #12
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: Oak Leaves

    I have a neighbor that swears his pin oak is a willow oak and the house across the street has a willow oak and he swears it is a pin oak. He refuses to take my word for it.

    The county below whitfield also lights up for pin oak on The only county to do so in this state. I supposed it could be "introduced" to GA and native on the rest of the map. Or maybe the tree was vouchered by my neighbor. Who knows.

    As for the Georgia oak, there was an organization in the atlanta area that was giving out seedlings of those somewhat recently. I'm not sure which group it was or if it was arbor day or last earth day or what but someone was giving them out. It's a rare tree but I seem to recall finding one at a garden center somewhere.

  3. #13

    RE: Oak Leaves

    Yep I also saw that county in green below whitfield again. Seems to me I would rather trust the USDA Forest Service and flora of NA maps over the USDA plant database maps. I feel like many of those odd isolated county reports (out of normal range) are caused by humans moving the trees for ornamental plantings or transporting seeds accidentally, but some might be right you never know.

  4. #14
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: Oak Leaves

    Where do you go to find the flora of NA maps and are you talking about the silvics manual?
    Those maps don't really zoom in on a county by county basis so you have to be talking about something else.

    And I always kind of thought when you had an oddball county that all the counties in between just didn't go out looking for the plants. Rural counties or whatever someone figured that if the county below whitfield has it and it's a small county them people will just assume that the plants are likely growing in neighboring counties too.

  5. #15

    RE: Oak Leaves

    Flora of North America:
    Yep, silvics manual, many do show counties but if they don't, other range maps can help.

    There is no way to know for sure if a tree far from it's main range is really native to that county or is just planted.
    This is what I mean, for example the eastern white pine shown in the USDA plant data base for AL does not match the silvics manual native range or the Flora of NA map:
    One can easily say that these are planted white pines, not native ones in those AL counties.
    The farther a odd ball tree location from it's main range is, plus the less evidence from other sources or maps that the tree is found there, then you could say it's likely Not a native to that county.

    The USDA plant data base for the most part is very incomplete, having huge gaps in the actually tree ranges and also they will and do post locations were people have planted a tree outside it's normal real range, giving no help to somebody wanting to know the native range.

    I guess the bottom line is it's best not to use the plant database maps when wanting the native range of a tree.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Dalton, GA

    RE: Oak Leaves

    I think at this point in my life I'm mostly concerned with what I may stumble across.... Whether native or otherwise. But its also nice to know what was here originally.

    Quirky, how come your neighbor thinks a pin oak is a willow oak? I don't understand what about a pin oak looks like a willow?

    Treeman, if post oak is named so because its wood is used for posts, and canoe wood is named so because the wood is used for canoe making, then it sounds reasonable that the pin oak name came from pin making. How many other trees have the same kind of limb structure as the pin oak and no one named them pin maples, or pin pines, or pin whatever. I don't know though.... Don't know that much about trees.

  7. #17

    RE: Oak Leaves

    It's impossible to know what trees other people might have planted on your place (especially if they are not common), for trees not native to your range you would just have to look them up in a tree book guide or post them on here etc. You can find nonnative trees planted in your county or surrounding counties but you could never know were specifically or the amount of the certain tree. Because for example 1 man in small town might have planted a nonnative maple tree but that's the only one for a hundred miles around, that does not help any if you want to find or look at one near you because you would not know were the man is located or what part of the county the tree is in.

    One other note is trees shown native to your place may never be found because some trees can be much more selective of habitat and are more widely scattered (more rare) such Dwarf Chinkapin Oak (Quercus prinoides), but more common trees such as Water Oak (Quercus nigra) or Willow Oak (Quercus phellos) can be found on about everybody place if you know what I am meaning.

    Trees don't have to be named after their wood making uses. Tons of trees are named after features or location or what ever else. Many trees such as Hawthorn got it's name from the long thorns on the branches.
    Pin Oaks have a unique branching structure that is pyramidal in shape. The bottom limbs point downward, the middle limbs point straight out, and the top limbs point up. Pin Oaks are often seen with persistent dead branches. Some say it's name is from the pin like knots in the wood from where the many branches were previously growing. The bottom limbs can have thick tough twigs or branches that can be short and stout. Pin oaks in many places are over planted such as around malls or other buildings. It's always best to mix up the type of trees a person plants because if one type of tree is planted everywhere, bugs or disease populations can explode and kill everyone of them as well as forest species if they become very high in number.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Dalton, GA

    RE: Oak Leaves

    Oh, I know trees can be named in many ways... I was just saying it sounded alright that they were named after pin-making. I know my willow oaks were not named such because they make good willows.

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