Pin oaks are medium-sized oaks that reach up to 70 feet in height. Their crowns may exceed 40 feet, and they often contain drooping limbs near the base. Pin oaks are part of the red-oak group, and, as with all other red oaks, their acorns take two years to reach maturity. Most people find red oak acorns to be bitter and unpalatable.
Pin oaks are native to the eastern and central United States and central Canada. While most common in moist, bottomland sites, such as flood plains and along the edges of swamps, pin oaks are tolerant of a range of soil conditions. Consequently, they may be found in virtually any area within their range. Nevertheless, prolonged floods often kill pin oaks. Pin oaks are popular street trees, as they are hardy and can endure many urban stresses, such as pollution. Pin oaks have a pyramidal growth form while they are young, although their crowns become rounded or oval in shape upon maturation.
Pin oaks have deeply lobed, bristle-tipped leaves that usually turn red or brown as autumn approaches. However, the leaves often remain on the tree throughout the winter and are only jettisoned in the spring when new growth emerges.