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collage of Chestnut Oak and Chinquapin Oak

Chestnut Oak (Quercus montana) vs. Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)

Updated January 5th, 2021

These two white oaks are frequently confused due to similar leaves, and both occurring in dry, rocky uplands. They are easily distinguished by bark or acorns, and with effort, also by leaves. Chestnut oak is mostly limited to dry, upland, forested sites with acidic soil, in or near the Appalachians, whereas Chinquapin oak is most common on calcium-rich soils, can also occur on moister sites, ranges much farther west, and also occurs in savannas.

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