Name: Quercus ilicifolia - Scrub Oak
Bloom Time: Spring
Soil Condition: Dry, Acidic
Height: 12-20' tall by 10-15' wide
Native Range: Northeast United States including Long Island
Zone: 3 to 7
Photo: Male catkins (David LaMagna)
Not everyone has the space for large oak trees. Scrub Oak is perfect for the residential landscape as it is a shrub, not a tree. It is a monoecious plant meaning the male and female flowers are on the same plant. Male catkins are quite showy, while the female flowers are inconspicuous little spikes. It is wind pollinated and often hybridizes with other oak trees in the vicinity. It has lovely reddish-purple fall color and produces acorns every other year (biennial).
Benefits: Host plant to many insects, shelter and food source for many mammals
Fun Facts: Iroquois women used its acorns for menstrual cramps.
Companion Plants: Comptonia peregrina - Sweet Fern, Vaccinium angustifolium - Lowbush Blueberry, Pinus strobus - Eastern White Pine, Gaylussacia baccata - Black Huckleberry, Hypericum prolificum - Shrubby St. John's Wort