Oak ID Confirmation Request for Two Species


5 year old buck +
I'll start with the one which I have the least confidence. A local cemetery has these planted on both sides of their entrance. Before the visit to this cemetery I'd never seen this species. My guess based on bit of online research is "ring-cupped oak" or "blue Japanese oak" / Quercus glauca. The one thing making me the most skeptical of the ID is that the trees in the cemetery are fair sized (though not giant) and would be on the large size for the species. If anyone can ID with fair confidence, curious how much deer like them, as the trees in the cemetery were dropping tons when I took the photos.




Next oak is one I believe is likely an overcup oak / Quercus lyrata? There are about a dozen of these trees that have recently been dropping at an Ace Hardware near my home. Few interesting things I noticed about the acorns. The meat inside is fairly sweet / not very bitter, fitting the overcup white oak typing. Also interesting is that even for the nuts damaged / that look older the meat inside seems to be better preserved / still white in comparison to other acorns in our area that much more quickly rot when damaged. The bark on the tree looks very much like white oak and is quite shaggy, and interestingly (at least to me) the leaves have quite a bit of variation with some more pointy while other leafs on the same tree are more rounded.





If I'm right on the overcup ID, I do have a few questions about the desirability of the acorns especially in comparison to Swamp Chestnut White oak / Quercus michauxii. Between my home and a pond on our place I have several natural stands of swamp chestnut white oaks and have successfully grown several from seed and planted them in more open spots on my property, such as near the edges of several food plots (few members might remember I actually grew two from whole acorns pulled out of the stomach of the nicest buck I've killed to date). With the two oaks sharing very similar ranges and liking similar terrain, does anyone see any value in growing at least a few overcup oaks? If for no other reason then the caps alone I can't imagine the deer will prefer them over the swamp chestnut white oaks, but that said the one reason I can see possibly planting a few is that I CAN see hogs not minding the caps at all and possibly beating the deer to them / making for a tree that I could strategically plant at certain spots to target hogs. For reference sake, here's a picture showing just how large the swamp chestnut white oak acorns get at our place. Darn near golf ball sized.



5 year old buck +
The second one is definitely overcup. And you are correct about your assumptions of deer and hogs eating them. My deer dont really favor them, but will eat them if no other acorns are available. Hogs are much more likely to eat the acorns by choice. The acorns do seem to be slow to rot, since they are a species associated with wet environments, this is probably required for survival. They grow lower here than any other oak species

The first tree has characteristics of chinkapin oak, but the sinuses along the edge of the leave dont seem quite deep enough compared to the ones around here. Acorn you show is also similar, but again, not an exact match.


5 year old buck +
MUCH appreciate the reply, SwampCat! Good to have confirmation on the hogs and the overcup oaks. Likely try to grow a few and while waiting for them to germinate/plant them give some serious contemplation on exactly where it would be most suitable to draw the hogs.

Funny story on the swamp chestnut white oak acorns... as I'm almost sure you know the hogs LOVE them. Well, for about two years straight my neighbor to my north/across the way from our shared pond has killed over 100 a year to my dozen or so a year. The reason for his bigger numbers is he has multiple fields of corn and I haven't planted any to date. A month or so ago he told me he finally felt we were making a dent in the hogs and I had to agree as numbers had seemed light on my side all sprung and summer... at least I agreee until I pulled camera cards from several spots that hold swamp chestnuts... all of a sudden tons of hogs I'd never seen before showed up on camera. Dadgum hogs are faster at multiplying than Star Trek tribbles! Sure the hogs will keep hitting the swamp chestnut acorns even if I plant the overcups, but hopeful help to harvest more hogs when the swamp chestnut acorns get scarce... and that's assuming/hoping I like long enough to see some overcup acorns drop.


5 year old buck +
The swamp chestnut trees we have in the woods are not as regular producing an abundant acorn crop as are the overcup


5 year old buck +
Forgot to circle back around to share some additional info on the "Blue Japanese Oak" / Quercus glauca that I found that lead me to feel pretty strongly that it's a match for the trees in the cemetery.

First link shows a range map of where it's been used in the U.S.A. as a "street tree" and sure enough it's a small range in the lower gulf with Tallahassee included in the mapped area.


And then there's this site with pics that match well with the acorns / acorn caps, leaves, and trunk appearance.


The Fishman

5 year old buck +

I must have missed this post last month. Your photos do look like a ringed cup oak. I found several planted in a park in Mobile, Alabama last year. I grew some this year, but intentionally killed the seedlings yesterday. They grew 16-18 inches over the summer, but I feel bad enough having planted sawtooths. I don’t want to plant another non native. I don’t see them doing anything better or faster than what a native oak can do.

I am still undecided on the desirability of overcup acorns to deer. People I know have told me from their first hand knowledge that deer like them while others say that deer don’t like them. A local wildlife management area has tons on the ground every year that never seem to be eaten. Even though it is a white oak, the acorns will remain in good shape until May or June of the following year. Overcups can handle wetter conditions than swamp chestnut oaks. One thing I am trying is to grow seedlings from trees that drop acorns like the acorns on the left in the photo with a thin cap that doesn’t cover the entire acorn. The acorns on the right have a thick cap that covers most of the acorn. I should be able to report back in about 20 years on whether deer like the thin cap acorns better.
Last edited:


5 year old buck +
Second one definitely looks like Overcup... but, I have a couple of OvercupXSWO selections grafted here that produce acorns that look like overcup... though a bit smaller than most Overcup I'm accustomed to seeing. One thing about Overcup - the 'shell' (I'm not talking about the cap) surrounding the acorn meat is thick and 'spongy'... so that the acorns will float when creeks flood... acorns wash up on piles of debris and sprout - this is their principal method of seed dispersal. For this reason, they germinate far later than most white oak species... waiting for spring floods to disseminate the acorns to new growing sites. As others have stated, deer don't particularly seek them out... maybe they don't like its thick corky/spongy shell?
The OvercupXSWO I have... while they LOOK like Overcup acorns, lack the thick corky/spongy shell, and are more like the SWO parent in that one respect.