Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

 

 

 

Ozark Chinquapin (Castanea ozarkensis) trees might be mistaken for Chinquapin oak (Quercus mujlenbergii). Unlike Ozark Chinquapin the Chinquapin oak have the bluish green leaves, teeth on the leaves are rounded, buds are clustered at the apex of the stem, and the big indicator it IS NOT an Ozark Chinquapin is the bowl-shaped cap on the acorn nut. The bark on the Chinquapin oak is also flat, not deeply furrowed like the bark on mature Ozark Chinquapin trees.

                                      

Drawings by A.J. Hendershott

    Chinquapin Oak Leaf               Ozark Chinquapin Leaf

Another tree it might be mistaken for is the Alleghany Chinquapin (Castanea pumila) which usually has smaller leaves of less than 6 inches, shallower teeth, and a smaller spiny seedpod usually less than 1 inch in diameter. Nuts size usually around 1/2 inch. Allegheny Chinquapin will grow in sandy lowland conditions, often near waters edge, and sometimes occurring in thickets. They usually do not attain heights over 30 feet and tree diameters are usually less than 4-5 inches. Alleghany Chinquapins are rare in the Ozark Plateau.

 

Deeply furrowed bark with long flattened ridges is common on older trees.

   

Carl standing in front of sprouts growing up from a stump where once an Ozark Chinquapin tree stood before the chestnut blight killed the tree. Notice how the leaves still cling to the sprouts through the winter.

 

     

Sprouts coming up off a diseased stump.  Note the smooth bark on younger sprouts.

 

Ozark Chinquapin trees are often found in the form of stumps with sprouts coming up from it. Stump sprouts grow from larger trees that were killed by the chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica). These sprouts will attain heights up to 30 feet with a diameter of up to 9 inches under ideal conditions. The wood on young trees and sprouts under 4-5 inches diameter is a rich gray brown to light gray, with smooth bark. After the tree attains a size greater than 6 or 7 inches it becomes furrowed into long flat ridges or plates and is more pronounced on older trees with deeper furrowing. Historical records list trunk diameters of 2-3 feet and heights to 65 feet.

Leaves on Ozark Chinquapin trees are deciduous, 5-9 inches in length, up to 2 inches wide, simple, alternate, elliptical, sharp coarsely toothed, green to yellow-green and hairless on top.

The bottom side of the leaves is paler, has a downy appearance, and covered (sometimes thinly) with tiny star-shaped cream colored hairs. Leaves turn yellow in the fall. Often leaves of stump sprouts will stay on the sprouts throughout the winter. But this behavior does not occur as often on trees.

 

Ozark Chinquapin leaves starting to change colors in the fall of the year.         

  

Me standing in front of an 8-inch diameter tree found by Carl in Northern Arkansas.

Note elongated furrowing becoming recognizable on the trunk

                                                         

Flowers are small, yellowish, clustered into a spike known as a catkin and can be foul smelling. Male flowers occur in slender erect spikes less than 9 inches in length. Female flowers are less noticeable and occur below male flowers of some spikes or in shorter, all female spikes.

Fruit are protected by slender, hairy, 1/2-inch spines that form the protective nut bur. These protective burs average 1 !/2 inch in diameter and occur in clusters of 5-20. From August - October, depending on geography the burs split into 2-6 segments, releasing a brown, single, solitary, round, delicious nut. The nuts vary in size from 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter depending on conditions. Buds are dark brown, lightly haired, and solitary at the apex of the twig.

Protective spines on burs guard the single nut within each bur. Note how the bur splits open to release the seed as they begin to ripen

 

 

Ozark Chinquapin nut sprouting into a plant.