Swamp Chestnut Oak - Quercus Michauxii
The swamp chestnut oak, scientifically named quercus michauxii indicating it is a member of the white oak genus, is a large deciduous tree that can be found native to Texas. It is also known as a basket oak, due to the wood being used in basket weaving; and cow oak, coined due to the fact that cows enjoy eating the acorns that fall from the branches.
The swamp chestnut oak, being native to Texas and other bottomland and wetland regions, prefers shady areas and loamy soil. They tolerate both drought and sites that do not properly drain. Their roots can permeate difficult soils, but grow well in soil that includes sand, clay, and silt. It can be found prevalent near streams and along the edges of swamp lands.
It is a large tree, growing to a mature height of seventy feet or higher. This height is obtained through a growth rate of one to two feet annually. This beautiful tree has large four to eight inch leaves that are a rich green in the spring and summer, and turn a rusty-orange or dark red hue in the fall.
The swamp chestnut oak can be found in most regions below the Ohio River. This is primarily due to the lack of moisture in the soil in northern regions of the United States.
The swamp chestnut oak is a full and hearty tree that grows best in year-round moist soil. It produces ample shade, with a branch spread of fifty to seventy feet. Even the fallen leaves have benefits. They can be included in mulch that will repel grubs, slugs, and other such insects. There are no known health hazards involving the swamp chestnut oak.
This hearty and attractive tree can be used in landscaping due to its size and spread. Wildlife enjoy the thick foliage and birds will feel welcome to build their homes in the branches.