Quercus imbricaria

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: shingle oak 
Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Native Range: Eastern and central United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 40.00 to 60.00 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, Black Walnut


Best grown in rich, humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Adapts to a wide range of soils including dry ones.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Quercus imbricaria, commonly called shingle oak, 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 broadening and rounding with age. Trunk diameter to 3’. Brownish gray bark develops shallow furrowing and ridging with age. Shingle oak is native primarily from Pennsylvania to Iowa and Arkansas. It is particularly common in the Ohio River Valley. In Missouri, it occurs in a variety of locations thoughout the state, including upland dry woods, prairie margins, slopes, ravines, stream margins and bottomlands (Steyermark). Insignificant monoecious yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring as the leaves emerge. Fruits are rounded acorns (to 3/4” long), with scaly cups that extend to approximately 1/3 the acorn length. 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 an important source of food for wildlife. Narrow, oblong, smooth-margined, glossy dark green leaves (3-6” long and 1-2” wide) are pale and pubescent beneath. 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.

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

Specific epithet comes from Latin and means to place in an overlapping order, as with tile or shingles.

Wood was once used by early settlers in the midwest for shingles, hence the common name.


Shingle 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.


A medium shade tree for large lawns or parks. Street tree. May be pruned for use as a screen or hedge.