January 7, 2013 @ 10:02 AM


The Chinkapin Oak is a variety of oak that may not be immediately familiar to you, but it is in the white oak family and is an especially good tree specimen to consider planting in your yard if you are looking for a beautiful shade tree with lots of benefits. 

So named for the Algonquian tribe's word for the acorn nut chinquapin produced by this tree, the Chinquapin, or more commonly, the Chinkapin, is a beautiful shade tree specimen of medium size (around 40 feet tall) that has not been given the exposure it is due here in southeast Texas. It provides a suprising splash of color in the spring, with its foliage first emerging a reddish color and then deepening to a rich, dark green as it continues through late spring and summer. Depending on rainfall, the Chinkapin's foliage can also offer beautiful hues of yellow and orange for your autumnal landscape presentation. 

Especially a good fit for urban and suburban lawns, the Chinkapin can thrive in a wide range of conditions. They do well in hot and cold weather, and are tolerant of heat and drought. They also handle a wide pH range from alkaline to acidic soil. While Chinkapin Oak has been known to occasionally contract oak wilt, on the whole it is highly resistant to this dreaded disease. This is largely due to the fact that the Chinkapin is able to compartmentalize decay caused by any trauma or damage, which is a nice little talent this variety of oak posesses. It is also pest tolerant. On the whole, the Chinkapin is a very sturdy tree. The only possible concern is that this variety of oak, while tolerating wet soil, requires soil that drains well. The Chinkapin is a shade tree and needs full exposure to the sun. 

Maybe the best feature about the Chinkapin tree is how naturally it acclimates to your local wildlife. Both birds and tree squirrels love the sweet acorns produced by the Chinkapin. As with may other types of oak, the Chinkapin is host to two varieties of butterflies: the gray hairstreak and the Horace's Duskywing. Once this tree is established, it will be a low-maintenance addition to your landscape, and may even suit you to be the centerpiece of your yard. Apply tender care to proper planting of your young tree. This includes proper depth of planting, irrigation, mulching, and weed suppression around the ball. Also, make sure that the tree is a product of an acorn collected by a tree adapted to your local area. This will further ensure your Chinkapin will have the best changes of thriving. 

Whether your interest is a shade tree, a large ornamental tree, or a yard magnet for local wildlife, the Chinkapin is a fabulous choice for southeast Texas. Contact our tree service company to get in touch with a tree expert for more information.