Quercus nigra

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Water Oak


Plant Specifics

Size:50-80 ft tall by 20-50 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:Brown
Noted for:-


Recommended Uses:Shade tree. Semi-evergreen with leaves falling just before new leaves emerge.
Considerations:Acorns can be a maintenance problem.
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Short very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Short very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Acidic to neutral



  • Provides cover for and nesting areas for birds and squirrels
  • The acorns are used by squirrels, turkeys, and deer


Larval host plant for Horace's dusky wing (Erynnis horactius), red-banded hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) and white-M hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) butterflies

Native Habitats:Floodplains, seep slopes, mesic secondary woods. May invade flatwoods if there is fire exclusion.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:Relatively short-lived relative to most oaks (70-100 yrs), but it is tolerant of a wide variety of soils and habitats.  The wood is weak.