Quercus montana is commonly called chestnut oak (also basket oak and rock oak) is a medium to large sized deciduous oak of the white oak group that typically grows 50-70’ (less frequently to 100’) tall with a rounded crown. It is native to wooded slopes in dry upland areas, often with poor soils, from Maine to Indiana south to South Carolina and Alabama. It grows tallest in rich, well-drained soils. Insignificant monoecious yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring after the leaves emerge. Fruits are oval acorns (to 1 1/4” long) with warty cups that extend to approximately 1/2 the acorn length. Acorns are an important source of food for wildlife. Obovate, coarsely-toothed, almost leathery leaves (to 7” long) are dark green above and pubescent gray-green beneath. Fall color is yellow-brown.
The common name of chestnut oak is in reference to the chestnut-like bark on mature trees (dark brown to black and coarsely furrowed), and rock oak is in reference to the ability of this tree to thrive in dryish rocky soils.
It is easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers moist, rich, well-drained loams, but adapts to a wide range of soil conditions including dry, rocky soils. Good drought tolerance. The dense wood has been used for railroad ties, barn beams and flooring.
From: Missouri Botanic Garden