Do you follow Doug Tallamy? This one’s for you!
Per the Native Wildlife Federation Native Plant Finder, 477 species of butterflies and moths use Quercus as a caterpillar host plant: https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/Plants/2804
Chinquapin oak is a member of the white oak group. Open crown and light gray platy or scaly bark. Shiny green leaves turn yellow and brown in the fall. The leaves somewhat resemble the leaves of a chestnut tree. The chestnut nut is sometimes called a chinquapin (thus the common name of this oak tree). Insignificant monoecious yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring as leaves emerge. Fruits are small oval acorns (to 3/4” long), with scaly cups that extend to approximately 1/2 the acorn length.
Attracts birds, butterflies, hummingbirds. Larval host to gray hairstreak butterfly.
Prefers moist fertile loams in cultivation. Relatively good drought tolerance. May take up to 30 years for this tree to bear a first crop of acorns.
Height: 40-60 ft.
Spread: 50-70 ft.
Bloom time: April
Sun: full sun
Water: dry to medium
According to Rutgers University, Quercus sp. are “occasionally severely damaged” by deer.
photo credit: Vojtěch Zavadil