Quercus × leana
Common Name: oak 
Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Best grown in rich, humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some part shade but not full shade. Grows well in sandy loams. Adapts to a wide range of soils including dry ones. Acorns of this hybrid tree are sterile.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Quercus x leana, commonly called lea oak, is a hybrid cross between Quercus imbricaria (shingle oak) and Quercus velutina (black oak). It is a medium-sized deciduous oak of the red oak group that typically grows in a conical form to 40-60’ tall, with the crown opening, broadening and rounding with age. It may be found in the wild as a naturally occurring hybrid in locations scattered around the midwestern U. S. where the ranges of the parent trees coincide (Missouri to Pennsylvania south to North Carolina and Arkansas).

Narrow, oblong, glossy, leathery dark green leaves (3-7” long and 1-2” wide) have smooth (occasionally weakly-lobed) margins and acute (occasionally tri-lobed) apices. Leaves are pale green below with rusty pubescence along the midrib. Fall color is variable, sometimes producing attractive shades of yellow-brown to red-brown. Old leaves tend to persist on the tree throughout most of the winter. Brownish gray bark develops shallow furrowing and ridging with age. Insignificant monoecious yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring as the leaves emerge. Rounded acorns (to 3/4” long) are partially enclosed within scaly cups that are made up of ovate, overlapping, light reddish-brown scales. Each cup encloses approximately 1/2 of the acorn. The acorns do not ripen until fall of the second year, as is the case with most oaks in the red oak group. Acorns are a source of food for wildlife.

Leaves of this hybrid resemble the leaves of its shingle oak parent and the acorns resemble the acorns of its black oak parent.

Genus name comes from the classical Latin name for oak trees.

Specific epithet honors Thomas G. Lea (1785-1844), American botanist who discovered this hybrid growing near Cincinnati, Ohio in the 1830s.

Problems

This oak is considered to be a low-maintence tree with good pest resistance. 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.

Garden Uses

A medium shade tree for lawns or parks. Street tree.