Chapman oak

Quercus chapmanii
Family: Fagaceae

Natural History

Chapman oak is a member of the white oak group that grows in upland scrub habitats of the southeastern United States.

The trees have little economic significance but do contribute to the species diversity of forested areas and provide valuable wildlife food and nesting sites. White-tailed deer, turkeys, raccoons, and squirrels feed on the acorns.

Chapman oak is found in the sandy soils of the Atlantic Coastal Plain from southeastern South Carolina to southern Florida. Chapman oak is mostly found near the salt water in the islands of Beaufort County, South Carolina and in central and western Florida.


Identifying Characteristics

Size/Form: Chapman oak is usually a large, bushy shrub or a small tree that may reach heights of 30 to 50' in ideal conditions. It has a round spreading crown.
Leaves: The leaves are simple, alternately arranged, and may persist on the tree until late winter. The leaves are 1 ½" to 4" long and ¾" to 2 ¼" wide. The obovate to oblong leaves have wedged leaf bases and short, hairy stalks. The leaves usually have shallow lobes near the rounded tip. The leaf margin is smooth and wavy. The upper leaf surface is smooth and dark green while the underneath surface is dull green. Leaves turn yellow or red before falling in winter or early spring.
Fruit: The acorns are ½" to 1" long. The bowl-shaped cap covers ½ to ¾ of the acorn. They mature at the end of the first season and are usually borne singly although sometimes in pairs.
Bark: The grayish-brown bark is thick and breaks into irregular flat plates.
Habitat: Chapman oak grows in the sandy, well-drained soils of scrublands and sand dunes. Other species associated with it include sand pine, myrtle oak, and sand live oak.



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