This great country has many wonderful native trees that are well-suited to the climate and local growing conditions. Rather than plant exotic trees, growing native plants has become an important part of gardening. So when choosing that major shade-tree for your yard, it makes sense to choose a fast-growing native tree that will stand out from the crowd and bring lots of pleasure as well as practical value to your property.
Young Pin Oak trees will grow 2 to 3 feet in a year, so if you need a shade tree in a hurry this is the tree to consider. Once it has reached a good size the growth will slow down and unlike some other fast-growing trees the Pin Oak will mature into a beautiful tree that will thrive for a hundred years of more. If you have wetter soil, perhaps with a lot of clay in it, and acid conditions, then the Pin Oak is a great choice. It will grow well on any well-drained soil too, that does not become completely dry.
We sell only trees that are true to the original form and we know you will be happy with the features of the Pin Oak. However we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this tree may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.
Growing Pin Oak Trees
Pin Oak is a large tree reaching 50 to 70 feet in height with a spread of 35 feet or more, making it a great shade-tree choice when coverage of a large area is needed. It usually develops a strong central trunk that is smooth and gray or reddish when the tree is young, becoming grey-brown with shallow furrows as the tree matures. It does not have the thick, rugged bark of some other types of oak, so has a more graceful appearance in the garden.
The leaves are very attractive, smooth, rich-green and glossy, and up to 7 inches long and 4 inches wide, with a long stalk. They are the classic ‘oak leaf’ form with about six deep lobes and bristles on their tips. In fall the leaves turn attractive shades of red and bronze, looking beautiful with the yellows and oranges of other trees nearby. The leaves turn brown and many will stay on the tree for a large part of the winter, giving good screening almost all year round when this tree is planted as a screening tree. The flowers are insignificant and yellow-green in color, but they develop into round acorns ½ inch across on older trees.
Pin Oak grows in zones 4 to 8, making it a great choice for cooler states with hard winters. It will tolerate periods of wet soil, especially in winter and also short periods of drought once well established. It will grow in most soils but should not be planted on very alkaline soils. If you have alkaline soil, consider growing one of the Maples, or Autumn Purple Ash, Thornless Honey Locust or the Gingko Tree instead.
This native oak is a special tree with superb characteristics for the garden and in urban conditions. Our trees are produced from acorns taken from perfect specimens and develop into strong trees, with good roots and ideal qualities. Avoid cheaper trees or un-named ‘oak’ trees that will not have the great features of the Pin Oak.
When choosing a location for your tree, find a sunny spot and allow plenty of room for clearance from buildings and power-lines – 20 feet or more from potential obstacles. Keep your tree 10 feet or more from paved areas like paths or driveways. Your Pin Oak will become a large tree pretty quickly, so make sure you have enough room for it to mature. To plant your Pin Oak, dig a hole two to three times the diameter of the root ball and mix in some organic material such as compost, rotted manure, rotted leaves or peat-moss. Just make the hole the depth of the pot and break-up the bottom a little. Add some starter fertilizer like superphosphate to get your tree of to a strong start.
After you take the tree from its pot, use a sharp knife to make three long cuts an inch deep down the sides of the root-ball, from top to bottom. This will prevent the roots from growing around the trunk, which can potentially strangle the tree. After you put back most of the soil, firm it well around the roots, water very thoroughly and after the water has drained away fill in with the remaining soil. Staking is not usually necessary.
Pruning and Trimming
As your Pin Oak tree develops, trim off the lower branches to develop a trunk to the height you need. As they tree grows older the lower branches will bend down towards the ground so they may need some additional pruning. Pin Oak has a natural habit with upright top branches, broader middle branches and horizontal lower ones, creating an attractive pyramid shape.
History and Origins of the Pin Oak
The Pin Oak (Quercus palustris) is native to the eastern United States and grows naturally from Massachusetts to Delaware, and west to Wisconsin and Arkansas. However it will easily grow in gardens over a much larger area, growing all the way from the cold of zone 4 to the mild weather of zone 8, so it can be grown almost anywhere.