Black Oak, present throughout the entire eastern half of the United States (except for Florida), is present throughout almost all of Ohio (being scarce in some northwestern counties), but is most frequently found in the foothills west of Appalachia and the sandy ridges near Lake Erie. It is a deeply taprooted Oak of dry soils, often in conjunction with Scarlet and Chestnut Oaks in southeastern Ohio. It is also frequently confused with the more mesic Red Oak, as their idenfication traits are much more similar than different.
Black Oak may reach 60 feet tall by 60 feet wide when found in the open, but its shape is among the more variable of the Oaks, being taller or more dwarfed, depending upon the site where it is located. The Red Oak group is sometimes alternatively known as the Black Oak group, in reference to this Oak, which has dark gray to black bark with age. As a member of the Red Oak group and the Beech Family, it is related to the Beeches, Chestnuts, and other Oaks.
Planting Requirements- Black Oak prefers soils that are moist, rich, deep, well-drained, and acidic. Ironically, it is often found in extremely dry sites with average to poor soils, where it can successfully compete with its tough environment. It adapts to soils that are neutral or slightly alkaline in pH. It thrives in full sun to partial sun, and is found in zones 3 to 9.
Potential Problems - Other than cosmetic blemishes on its foliage due to minor insect feeding, Black Oak is basically problem-free, although it may on occasion be subject to the standard army of pests and pathogens that afflict the Oaks.