How Do You Identify Oak Tree Types?

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Oak tree types can be identified by their leaves, their acorns and bark, their habits, and the places where they grow. The sessile oak has leaves that are dark green on the top but pale and hairy beneath and that usually have five lobes.

The sessile oak has a domed habit, or structural appearance, and gray bark full of furrows and ridges. It gets its name because the acorns aren’t held on stalks, or peduncles. They used to be fed to pigs and ground to make a type of coffee. This tree is found in the west and north of Britain, western Europe and Asia minor. It can live for 1,000 years.

The white oak grows in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. It has a round or oval habit and is used as a shade tree and for its beautiful fall color. It can grow between 50 and 80 feet tall and has a 50- to 80-foot spread when it’s mature. Like the sessile oak, its leaves are lobed, and it can live for hundreds of years.

The willow oak is also native to United States and is found from Long Island, New York, south to Florida and west to Texas. It gets its name because its leaves resemble those of the willow tree. When it’s young, it has a cone-like habit, but spreads out as it grows.