Chestnut Oak, so named due to the resemblance of its leaves to the American Chestnut, is also called Rock Oak, Rock Chestnut Oak, or Mountain Oak, as it is often found in dry, rocky soils at the tops of hilly ridges. Chestnut Oak is also listed by some authorities with the scientific name of Quercus montana.
In Ohio, it is confined to the eastern half of the state, mostly in the Appalachian highlands. Nationally, it ranges on either side of a line from southern Maine to western Tennessee, encompassing the greater Appalachian area. It survives where other trees do not, in areas of dry, barren soils (often a companion to Scarlet Oak and Black Oak in these environments). Its dark green leathery leaves, large acorns, stout twigs, thick bark with triangular ridges, and jagged winter outline give it an exceptionally bold texture. It may reach 60 feet tall and 50 feet wide when located in the open. As a member of the White Oak group and the Beech Family, it is related to the Beeches, Chestnuts, and other Oaks.
Planting Requirements - Chestnut Oak achieves its greatest growth on moist, well-drained soils of acidic pH. However, it is usually found growing in poor, rocky, sterile, dry soils of acidic pH where it can compete with the tough site conditions and win. It also adapts to soils of neutral or alkaline pH. It thrives in full sun to partial sun (but is shade tolerant in youth), and is found in zones 4 to 8.
Potential Problems - Chestnut Oak is amazingly free of major pest and disease problems, a testament to superior genetics in all aspects of its growth cycle. However, it may on occasion be subject to the usual array of pests and pathogens that can affect many Oaks.