June 11, 2013
Quercus ellipsoidalis
Northern Pin Oak, Hill's Oak

DescriptionNorthern Pin Oak is a medium sized tree that tolerates dry, salty soils. Good fall colour, acorns that are prized by wildlife and survival under poor conditions make this tree a strong option for the urban landscape.
UsageRehabilitation sites, street tree, shade tree.
OriginMiddle and western parts of Great Lakes region
Hardiness zone4
Size15-21m high, trunk up to 60cm diameter.
Form/textureSlender trunk with round open dome, ground hugging branches.
Growth rateSlow-moderate, long lived.
Leaf10-15 cm long; lustrous dark green changing to good fall colour.
FruitMedium size makes the acorn popular food for many animals.
Exposure/cultureFull sun.
Tolerates occasionally wet to very dry soils.
Moderately tolerant of deicing salt spray, tolerant of soil salt (Morton).
pH 6.1-7.5, without exhibiting chlorosis of leaves.
CommentsAt home on upland sandy plains and sandstone hills, the Northern Pin Oak is a useful tree for rehabilitation sites. Deep roots would require care during transplanting, but Q. ellipsoidalis does well on poor soils and is the most drought tolerant of black oaks.

Its natural range includes plains that would frequently be razed by fire, but Q. ellipsoidalis resprouts easily from base when topkilled.

Oak wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum) susceptible, as are most oaks.

May hybridize with Q.velutina and Q. rubra.

Typically home to many insects, few create problems.

Morton Arboretum Salt Tolerant Trees. Michigan State University Extension Service Publication, HM-95