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 nigra
Foliage: Blue-green
Fall Foliage: Yellow
Bloom: Inconspicuous
Bloom Time: April
Shape: Conical
Bark: Dark gray with ridges
Sun: Full sun
Zone: Zone 6 to Zone 9
Size: 50 to 80 feet
Spread: 40 to 60 feet
Care: Medium to wet, well drained soil

Rearing up to a spectacular height of 50-80 ft. with an impressive 40-60 ft. spread, the conical Water Oak is a formidable and mighty member of the red oak variety, belonging to the Fagaceae family. Binomially classified as Quercus Nigra (an epithet that indicates its unusually dark bark), the Water Oak also is known as “Possum Oak” and “Spotted Oak”. Handsomely colored, well-structured, and fast-growing, this tree is widespread throughout the wetlands of the southeastern United States, ranging from the Mississippi River Valley to New Jersey’s streams and down to Florida’s floodplains. With a 6-9 hardiness zone rating, the Water Oak is partial to full sun and grows best in medium to wet, well-drained soils.

Characteristics of this specimen include its broad, leathery, deciduous blue-green foliage and its brownish-gray bark that blackens and becomes more furrowed with age. The Water Oak produces inconspicuous catkins in April and bears broad acorns which begin to mature after the tree’s second year. This species is generally short-lived, reaching senility after approximately 40-70 years. Its timber has been used as fuel and for light construction, despite the Water Oak’s fame for being relatively weak-wooded. This species can be prone to heart rot and trunk cankers, shortening its lifespan and making its branches vulnerable to breakage.

Despite its natural wetland habitat, however, the Water Oak displays a commendable tolerance for urban conditions, pollutants, and acidic soils. This hardiness, paired with the majesty of its tall conical structure, makes it a promising street tree. Its plentiful shade, its rich golden autumn color, and its copious seed production make it an attractive specimen and a valuable resource for many types of wildlife.

“Oak trees come out of acorns, no matter how unlikely that seems. An acorn is just a tree’s way back into the ground. For another try. Another trip through. One life for another.” –Shirley Ann Grau

Native Forest Nursery Photos:

Mature Tree Photos: