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Quercus montana

Quercus montana, the chestnut oak, is a species of oak in the white oak group, Quercus sect. Quercus. It is native to the eastern United States, where it is one of the most important ridgetop trees from southern Maine southwest to central Mississippi, with an outlying northwestern population in southern Michigan. It is also sometimes called "rock oak" because of its presence in montane and other rocky habitats. As a consequence of its dry habitat and ridgetop exposure, it is not usually a large tree, typically tall; occasional specimens growing in better conditions can however become large, with trees up to tall known. They tend to have a similar spread of . A 10-year-old sapling grown in full sun will stand about tall. This species is often an important canopy species in an oak-heath forest.

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The Bark of a Swamp Chestnut Oak

Although the article speaks of the differences between Chestnut Oak bark and Swamp Chestnut Oak bark, this picture helps to fully convey just how different the bark of the Swamp Chestnut Oak is. This photo was taken by Will Cook.

Contributed by Tj Parks

This website goes into depth on many of the interesting pieces of trivia surrounding chestnut oaks. For example, the tannin in chestnut oaks was used to tan rawhide into leather. As another example, the wood of a swamp chestnut oak (which is arguably the same species, although their bark is very different) was once used to make baskets. This trivia is not just confined to uses, but also includes interesting information pertaining to its role in the ecosystem. Grey squirrels, for instance, have been shown to prefer the chestnuts of chestnut oaks to the chestnuts of white oaks.

Contributed by Tj Parks

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