Best grown in acidic, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. It often grows in poor soils. Tolerates drought. Avoid wet, poorly-drained soils.
Blackjack oak is a small to medium sized deciduous oak of the red oak group that typically grows to a compact 20-40’ tall. It often appears in a scruffy, irregular form in poor, dry sites. It is native from New Jersey to Missouri south to Florida and Texas. It is typically found in open, barren areas including fields, flatwoods, woodland peripheries, glades and dry ridges. Common name is in reference to its leathery, obovate, blackjack-like, dark green leaves (to 7” long) that are widest at the apex which has 3-5 shallow, bristle-tipped lobes. Leaves are hairy and rusty-brown beneath. Foliage turns an undistinguished yellowish-brown to russet in fall. Insignificant monoecious flowers in separate male catkins and female spikes appear in spring. Fruits are oblong acorns (to 1” long). Acorns are a source of food for wildlife. On mature trees, blackish bark appears in rough plates.
Oaks in general are susceptible to a large number of diseases, including oak wilt, chestnut blight, shoestring root rot, anthracnose, oak leaf blister, cankers, leaf spots and powdery mildew. Potential insect pests include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner, galls, oak lace bugs, borers, caterpillars and nut weevils.
Species plants are infrequently sold in commerce. Trees have minimal ornamental quality as a specimen in the landscape. Woodland gardens and native plant areas.