Native to eastern and central America, the exotic Pin Oak is a medium to large tree that has adapted well to our South African conditions. It can be found along many roadsides and is also prominent features in many of our parks and large gardens.
The tree is deciduous and has an attractive, pyramidal shape with a straight, dominant trunk. As the tree matures, the shape of the tree becomes even more distinctive. The lower branches droop slightly downwards and the middle branches are at right angles to the trunk. The upper branches point upwards at the top of the canopy. The tree can grow to a height of between 18 to 22 m and the trunk can attain a diameter of a meter or more. The smooth, grey-brown bark tends to develop ridging as it gets older, creating character. Foliage consists of green, glossy leaves during summer that changes to bronze, red and gold during autumn, before dropping to the ground. The autumnal colours create a magnificent display as autumn gives way to winter. In addition, the fruit of the Pin oak, in the form of acorns, mature from green to brown and can sometimes stay on the tree during the winter.
Quercus palustris can handle very cold conditions and is moderately water wise, once established. The tree grows fairly quickly and has a fairly shallow, non-intrusive root system, which makes it ideal for street planting. In summer the tree provides welcoming shade and it is ornamental in that its vibrant autumn foliage drops to show off the shape of the trunks and branches in winter. The Pin oak has a majestic character and displays at best in bigger garden or office parks, because of its large scale.