Native to the American Southeast and Midwest, Nuttall oak (Quercus nuttallii) is quickly replacing some other oaks, such as pin oak (Q. palustris), red oak (Q. rubra), and Shumard red oak (Q. shumardii), because it combines all of their good points while lacking their weaknesses. It quickly grows into a pyramidal tree 40 to 60 feet tall with a strong central leader. It accepts most soils, even alkaline or wet ones. It drops all of its leaves cleanly in late fall. Nuttall oak leaves plenty of headroom beneath its branches, making it an excellent lawn, patio, or street tree. It doesn’t develop surface roots and won’t invade water lines. Nuttall oak leaves are 4 to 7 inches long and deeply indented with between five and eight lobes. Each lobe sports several toothed points along its margin. The color of the leaves is dull green with a pale underside, turning red in the fall. The male flower of the Nuttall oak tree forms in long, drooping growths called catkins. They are yellow-green in color. The female flowers form as very small spikes were the leaves meet the branch. This tree produces acorns with a classic cap and nut appearance. The acorns are approximately 1 inch long and take two seasons to mature. The bark is gray brown and smooth when young, becoming rougher as the tree matures.

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