‘Q’ was a tough one until I remembered that the Oaks are in the genus Quercus. It still wasn’t easy getting the picture because most Oaks start branching high off the ground. While visiting the New Jersey State Botanical Garden I knew that I would find a nice Oak to photograph. I don’t really know too much about Oaks and really only have experience planting Pin Oaks (Quercus palustris) and have done the odd pruning jobs on Red and White Oaks. I didn't know that Oaks are actually in the Beech family (Fagaceae). I now that I think about it I did plant a pretty big Upright English Oak (Quercus robur 'Fastigiata') a little while back and that has done well.
There 500 plus species of Oaks. The range from elevated areas in the tropics to subtropical and temperate areas. They are native from North to South America and Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. Generally there are two types (botanists break it down way more than this) the white oak group and the red oak group. The main differences are the white oaks have rounded lobed leaves, produce acorns that mature in one season that are not bitter and the reds have pointed leaf lobes and take two years to produce their bitter tasting acorns. There can be a little bit more than that to it but you can break down most of the types with those items. Oaks, for the most part, very important trees with the wood being used for fuel, construction and their acorns are one of the top wildlife food sources. They also add a lot of beauty to the landscape.
I could ramble on here about Oak Trees for awhile but after sorting out my computer problems Karen’s Dell went on the fritz. Since I don’t know anything about Windows computers I couldn’t help. I do, however, have to help with the paperwork that she was going to do on her computer. These invoices need to go, if you know what I mean.
This tree is in the red group and had some of the nicest fall color I have seen amongst the Oaks, too bad it wasn’t labeled. Normally the fall color is a mix of yellow, brown and rusty colors which up until a few years ago I never really appreciated. I have a white oak in the backyard that is huge and it turns from green to brown in the fall. I am including a picture of this Shingle Oak (Quercus imbricaria) I saw at Skylands. It is a species that I am not really familiar with. I see that Connecticut is not on the
native range map so maybe that is why. It does have a more traditional fall color. Since it doesn’t have lobes I am not sure what group it fits into. Checking Wikipedia’s list of Quercus species I see it is in the red group.
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Finally my backup plan was to use this Hydrangea as my ‘Q’ post. It is called Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). It isn’t quite in its fall color yet in this area but this one is starting. It is a good shrub that is a bit underused in the landscape. It doesn’t have great deer resistance so maybe that is why. It really is a lot different then what most people would consider for Hydrangea but I like to use them, especially the dwarf types which are more manageable. It is one of only two types of Hydrangea native to the United States.
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