Quercus montana
Common Name: chestnut oak 
Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 50.00 to 70.00 feet
Spread: 50.00 to 70.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Insignificant
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers moist, rich, well-drained loams, but adapts to a wide range of soil conditions including dry, rocky soils. Good drought tolerance.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Quercus montana, commonly called chestnut oak (also commonly called basket oak, rock oak and rock chestnut oak) is a medium to large sized deciduous oak of the white oak group that typically grows 50-70’ (less frequently to 100’) tall with a rounded crown. It is native to wooded slopes in dry upland areas, often with poor soils, from Maine to Indiana south to South Carolina and Alabama. It grows tallest in rich, well-drained soils. Insignificant monoecious yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring after the leaves emerge. Fruits are oval acorns (to 1 1/4” long) with warty cups that extend to approximately 1/2 the acorn length. Acorns are an important source of food for wildlife. Obovate, coarsely-toothed, almost leathery leaves (to 7” long) are dark green above and pubescent gray-green beneath. Fall color is yellow-brown.

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

Specific epithet means pertaining to mountains.

Common name of chestnut oak is in reference to the chestnut-like bark on mature trees (dark brown to black and coarsely furrowed). Common name of rock oak is in reference to the ability of this tree to thrive in dryish rocky soils.


Oaks 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. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, chestnut oak is generally considered to be a low-maintenance, long-lived tree.


A large shade tree for large lawns or parks. Good selection for areas with poor, rocky soils.