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Blackjack Oak

Quercus marilandica


The blackjack oak is a very tough tree that can grow in undesirable locations - poor soil, rocky soil, and/or dry soil. Drought tolerant. It is a small to medium sized oak, not growing nearly as large as other red oaks. Blackjack oak tolerates some of the worst soil conditions of all the eastern oak species. Acorns are small, but may be valuable to wildlife in areas where other oaks don't produce.


Southeastern US. West to Texas, north to extreme southern Iowa, east to New Jersey, south to the Florida Panhandle.

Distribution Map


Dry, rocky, or poor soil


Leaves are thick, leathery, and irregular in shape. Generally with 3 oddly rounded lobes and shaped like a duck's foot, they may vary in shape and size considerably. Midvein and side veins protrude above the top surface of the leaf, and the leaf is pubescent (fuzzy), especially on the underside.

Blackjack Oak


Gray to black, often resembling charcoal. May resemble persimmon tree bark, but often retains dead branches along the trunk. Young bark is smoother and more fissured, resembling that of southern red oak or black oak.

Blackjack Oak


Small, high in tannin, not preferred by wildlife unless it's the only acorn available.

Blackjack Oak


Look-alike oaks:

Blackjack oak is very unique in appearance; however, the leathery leaves may resemble those of post oak from a distance. The bark and leaf shape will easily distinguish the two when observed up close. 

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