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collage of Bear Oak and Blackjack Oak

Bear Oak (Quercus ilicifolia) vs. Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica)

Updated October 20th, 2020

Bear oak and blackjack oak can be confused as both can occur together in harsh, barren habitats, and in such habitats blackjack oak may exhibit a scrubbier growth habit more like bear oak. They are usually easily distinguished by differences in leaf shape, buds, acorn caps, and growth habit. Their ranges only overlap in a small portion of the Mid-Atlantic and mid-to-southern Appalachians; bear oak ranges farther north and blackjack oak farther south and west.

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