At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Fagaceae
Latin Name: Quercus michauxii
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Foliage: Dark red
Bloom: Yellow and red
Bloom Time: April to May
Shape: Rounded crown
Bark: Gray with plates
Sun: Full sun
Zone: Zone 5 to Zone 9
Size: 40 to 60 feet
Spread: 30 to 50 feet
Care: Medium to wet, well drained soil
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Native to the wetlands and bottomlands of southeastern America, the Swamp Chestnut Oak establishes itself in medium to wet, well-drained soils, dispersed from New Jersey to Texas. Scientifically classified as Quercus Michauxii (named after French botanist Frances A. Michaux, who wrote extensively about eastern North American trees), the Swamp Chestnut Oak belongs to the Fagaceae family. It is also known as “Basket Oak” (since its wood is sometimes stripped into fibers and splits, then used to weave baskets) and “Cow Oak” (because cows are partial to the tree’s acorns).

The Swamp Chestnut Oak’s common name also implies this tree’s close resemblance to the Chestnut Oak; the Swamp Chestnut Oak is most apparently differentiated by its superior height (typically 40-60 ft., with a 30-50 ft. span; the nation’s current champion towers over 150 ft.), its plated gray bark (not as deeply ridged as the Chestnut Oak’s), and its preference for more moist environments and exposure to full sun. This species has a 5-9 hardiness zone rating.

Though endemic to wetlands, the Swamp Chestnut Oak can be certainly cultivated along streets and in lawns, displaying a high tolerance to urban conditions and serving as a shade and ornamental tree. Its structure is upright with an oval spread, reaching its full potential when the central trunk dominates the rounded canopy. The Swamp Chestnut Oak’s deciduous leaves are simple and fringed with rounded teeth, colored a lush green that later transforms to attractive autumnal hues of scarlet and coppery orange. Its yellow-red catkins emerge from April to May, replaced in the autumn by tiny acorns. These nuts are plentiful, relatively sweet, and can be eaten right off the tree, but they are produced only once every several years.

The wood of the Swamp Chestnut Oak resembles that of other white oaks, and can be merged with them and marketed as such. Its timber has been capitalized for flooring, tool handles, and fence posts; due to its suppleness, it can furthermore be sliced into flexible strips for basket-making and other such crafts. Even the Swamp Chestnut Oak’s dried leaves serve as excellent mulch.


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