Northern Pin Oak Tree
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Northern Pin Oak Tree
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Growth Facts

Northern Pin Oak

Quercus ellipsoidalis

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In an age when wildlife habitat is being destroyed on a daily basis, it’s good to know that you don’t have to stand by and feel helpless. You can plant native trees! Specifically, planting native Oak Trees is one of the best things you can do to support your local ecosystem. The Northern Pin Oak is a particularly valuable tree in the northern states. Besides serving as a great benefit to wildlife, this proud and noble tree will grace your property with welcome shade and natural beauty. When nights get frosty, its handsome, deep green leaves will take on autumnal hues, lighting up your landscape with a blaze of russet-red and scarlet foliage.

Growth Facts

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The Story

The Northern Pin Oak, native to the Upper Midwest states, is closely related to the Scarlet Oak, Red Oak, and Black Oak. It is also related to the more common Pin Oak you see planted so often in cities or wherever a tough shade tree is needed. One advantage of the Northern Pin Oak over the Pin Oak is that it is less insistent upon acid soil and thus less likely to turn chlorotic (yellow) in high-pH soils. In its native haunts, the Northern Pin Oak often inhabits poor, dry soil and there its growth is reduced, but in optimal conditions, it can become a mighty tree. The national champion, in Oakland County, Michigan, tops out at 103 feet, and its canopy is 117 feet wide.

The Details

Fall color on the Northern Pin Oak is variable, but it usually attains a good, deep red. The autumn color—as well as the tree’s general performance—is better in the North than in the South.

How to Grow

Plant Northern Pin Oak in a sunny area with lots of elbow room. The soil should be well drained and on the acidic side, though this tree is not as demanding of acidic soil as the closely related Pin Oak. Irrigate with the Bower & Branch Elements™ Watering System during the first couple of years of establishment in the landscape; after that your tree should be able to get by on what falls from the sky, barring a very severe drought. No major pests or diseases affect Northern Pin Oak except for Oak wilt. Because of this destructive fungal disease, never prune your Northern Pin Oak when it is actively growing. Prune only during dormancy, from November through February.

Size Guide

Size Guide Scale


Size: B

Size B

Size: C

Size C

This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.

Size B Trees:

8-10' tall. Branching structure fully developed, grown and shipped in our #15 tree container in this size.

Size C Trees:

Bower & Branch delivers these large Oaks in handled pots that will require 2 people to move about and to plant. 12' tall and about 4-6' wide with a developed branching structure is what you can expect.

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Northern Pin Oak Tree