Quercus acerifolia
Common Name: maple-leaved oak 
Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Native Range: Arkansas
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 40.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Yellowish green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Good drought tolerance.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Quercus acerifolia, commonly called maple-leaf oak, is a rare species that is only known to grow in the wild in a few upland forest areas in the Ouachita mountains of west central Arkansas. Maple-leaf oak was first described in 1926 by Palmer and was given the name of Quercus shumardii var. acerifolia. Recent efforts by Stoynoff and Hess have resulted in the elevation of this plant to full species status (in large part due to differences in leaf and acorn morphology). It is a medium-sized deciduous tree of the red oak group. In the wild, it appears in both multi-stemmed shrub and single trunk tree versions typically reaching no more than 50' in height at maturity. Insignificant yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in early spring as the leaves emerge. Fruits are oval acorns (to 3/4" long) which are about 40% smaller than the acorns of Quercus shumardii. Broad, dark green, sugar maple-like leaves (2.5-5.5" long and 4-6" wide) are deeply cut into 5-7 spiny-tipped lobes. Grayish bark is smooth in early years, but acquires dark ridging on the trunk with age. Leaves generally produce good red fall color.

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

Specific epithet means with maple-like leaves in reference to the resemblance of the leaves of this oak to those of the sugar maple (Acer saccharum).


Although susceptible to a large number of potential insect and disease pests, this tree is generally considered to be durable and long-lived with no significant problems.


Shade tree or lawn tree. This rare species deserves a prominent location in the landscape. May be difficult to find in commerce.