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dillybeansown

Tree ID help, please

Does anyone have any idea what tree this is? They were beautiful, glossy, slender leaves, with very thin spines along the serrated edge. The spines were not hurtful, as they were too flexible to cause any pain. The leaves were very thin and pliable.


Honestly, the growth pattern of the branches, the leaf shape and the way they hang, it reminded me of a peach tree. But of course I’ve never seen a peach with spines on the leaves like this.




Comments (11)

  • 2 years ago

    I do believe it is a Chestnut tree.

    Dillybeansown (6b in the Ozarks) thanked Christopher CNC
  • 2 years ago

    I do believe you’re right! Fascinating. I’ve never seen a chestnut tree before. Horse chestnut I’m very familiar with but this was altogether new. How wonderful! I’ve always wanted to grow chestnuts, and now I have an extra reason :)


    thanks awfully!

  • 2 years ago

    Leaf looks more like sawtooth oak, the leaf appearance is quite similar to chestnut.

    Dillybeansown (6b in the Ozarks) thanked arbordave (SE MI)
  • 2 years ago

    Even if it is a Sawtooth Oak, I do believe you can still grow Chestnuts in the 6b Ozarks. Closeups of the leaf arrangement and stems will help decide.

    Dillybeansown (6b in the Ozarks) thanked Christopher CNC
  • 2 years ago

    Agree with arbordave.

    Dillybeansown (6b in the Ozarks) thanked KennsWoods
  • 2 years ago

    No question that this is a Quercus acutissima...

    Dillybeansown (6b in the Ozarks) thanked ViburnumValley central KY Bluegrass z6
  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    This is what they call Chestnut Oak, Quercus prinus? How did that happen? The Sawtooth and Chinkapin oaks are much better chestnut mimics. This has been an interesting ID question. Made me do a nice oak review and made me question my oaks that lean red true parentage.



  • 2 years ago

    I will take up the gauntlet of this query.


    I don't clearly understand what your question is. American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) has toothed leaf margins. It doesn't have bristle tips like Quercus acutissima and other oak species with bristle tips on the leaf margins. Sawtooth Oak likely would not yet have been known to those naming North American trees, so would not have been in the running to be a Chestnut simile.


    Quercus prinus - also known as Basket Oak, Rock Oak, and Rock Chestnut Oak - is a great tree. I don't know indisputably where the name Chestnut Oak arises, but I can surmise a lot by observing this tree in many situations over the years, knowing its native range, its characteristics, and historical uses of the plant.


    First: take a look at this oak's native range. It is almost entirely coincidental with American Chestnut in eastern North America. This alone might have made someone name a tree - guilt by association.


    Second: I'd suggest the leaves you've illustrated are not entirely indicative of Quercus prinus' range of leaf morphology. I have photos of a variety of trees that grow around Louisville KY, from parks, forests, university campus - as well as a singular specimen here at Viburnum Valley. While I can observe leaves that look like what you've shown, I find more that are narrower and similar in conformation to American Chestnut - less the sharper dentate margins. This oak's arrangement of leaves may be similar enough to Chestnut (I cannot claim massive experience in Chestnut observation, but I've seen more than a couple) that this may be in part a reason to have historically named it as such. I also suspect that this oak's trunk and bark characteristics may have had enough similarity to Chestnut that it could lead to such naming.


    Finally, the number of uses of Chestnut Oak may have made it comparable to American Chestnut in value. The edible acorns, the high-tannin bark, the White Oak group wood - all these were valuable to those around when naming species on the North American continent was taking place.


    Thank you, Christopher CNC, for instigating this discussion and rumination. I plan to seek the comfort of several tomes in my collection, to see what else I can unearth about Quercus prinus and how it came to earn its common name(s).




  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Thank you all for the enlightening discussion!! I so appreciate the wealth of information on here!

  • 2 years ago

    Sawtooth Oak, for sure