15 Types of Oak Trees in Florida: Identification Guide (Chart, Pictures)

Different types of oak trees in Florida shown with a large FL oak tree in front of a misty body of water.

The different types of oak trees in Florida are beautiful and provide a rich backdrop for the landscapes within the state. They provide shade, food for animals, improve the state’s appearance, and help fight climate change.

Quite a number of species of oak tree are native to Northern America, which is why you are likely to find so many oak trees in Florida. The beautiful tall trees with widespread canopies live for many years, making them an essential part of any city or state they have been planted.1

The guide below has 15 of the most popular oak tree species in the state of Florida and can help you choose the one you want to plant. Besides their magnificent appearance and the beautiful flowers in fall, oak trees also have edible fruits that attract wildlife where they are planted.

Use the chart and pictures below to learn how to correctly identify different types of oak trees in Florida.

Identifying Florida Oak Trees (Identification Types of Oak Trees in Florida)

1. Bluejack Oak

  • Leaves: Cupped leaves, blueish-ashy green foliage, narrowly elliptic-lanceolate in shape, smooth edges or margins, the tip of the leaf – pointed, silvery underside,  has a light layer of hair4
  • Flowers: Drooping yellowish-red catkins male flowers in spring, female flowers – produced in pairs or singly on short stalks
  • Bark: Dark gray-black, thick, wide furrows that form rough square plates
Photo of the leaves and branches of Bluejack Oak

(Image: By Yercaud-elango11)

  • Acorns: Mature in two years, yields  small, brown nuts (ranges from 3/8 to 5/8 inches long), top quarter of the nut is attached to a reddish-brown cup with hair on its underside
Photo of fresh green and orange leaves of a Black Oak.

(Image: Chris Light12)

  • Bark: Smooth & brown bark during its early years, furrowed, gray – black, and rough as it ages

2. Black Oak

  • Leaves: Bluish-green on the leaf surface, paler beneath, spatulate, lanceolate,  variable, or spatulate in shape, may have 0 – 5 lobes, margins are bristle-tipped or smooth
  • Flowers: Drooping catkins in male flowers, female flowers look like short spikes
  • Acorns: Half an inch to one inch almost black acorn with a scaled, flat, cap that is on almost a third of the nut

3. Chinkapin Oak

  • Leaves: A smooth upper surface, shiny-green leaves with dull undersurface & may contain white hairs, small, toothed or  lobed margins which are wavy sometimes, pointed tip(acute) & a rounded base or acute, various colors in Fall – yellows to browns
  • Flowers: Elongated clusters, pollen flowers in drooping, female flowers – they are short-stemmed in axils of the tree leaves
  • Bark: Rough, light gray, thin, & irregularly fissured bark
Close up photo of a small branch of Chinkapin Oak showing sprouts that are about to become leaves.

(Image: Vojtěch Zavadil13)

  • Acorns: ½ to 1 inch , oval, long, and light brown acorns that appear each year with one to two acorns in each stem, a thin and gray cup with hairs and that covers a quarter to half of acorn nut

4. Shreve Oak

  • Leaves: Thick and long. Leaf margins are smooth and have an olive-green color on the underside, others are spiny-toothed.
  • Flowers: Flowers appear between March and May
  • Acorns: Acorns are cylindrical and often u-shaped. The caps have overlapping scales that look like shingles

5. Post Oak

  • Leaves: Turns golden brown sometimes in the fall, it is star-shaped and the green leaves feel and look leathery, they are 3 – 8 inches long and have wavy margins that are deeply lobed, have reticulated and pinnate venation, rounded lobes, and up to four on each side, the upper pair is often much larger than the others, which forms a maltese cross shape
  • Flowers: Male flowers appear in catkins – yellowish. Female flowers are much shorter and are near the twig tips, they bloom in April
  • Bark: Younger trees have a scaly bark, mature ones have a gray – brownish-gray bark, and they also have a rough texture and ridges
Photo of the leaves of Post Oak.

(Image: psweet14)

  • Acorns: Egg-shaped acorns, brown, and are produced either in pairs or solitary, they are either short-stalked or sessile,1/2 – 3/4 inch long with caps that extend to about one-third of the acorn, small appressed scales on the caps and they are light tan or light gray, the acorns are in a reddish-brown color and are ½ inch – 1 inch long
Image of the leaves, branches, and fruits of a Bluff Oak tree.

(Image: Doug Goldman15)

  • Acorns: 5 – 1-inch brown acorns that are paired or oval and solitary, they are 1/3 – 1/2 covered with a gray cap with scales. The acorns mature in one year

6. Bluff Oak

  • Leaves: Four to eight inches long and two to four inches wide, they are narrow with irregular, shallow, and rounded lobes, they can be sinuate, the leaves are green to gray-green in color and have secondary veins on either side, the young ones have hairs & mature ones do not, they turn orange copper or yellow in fall5
  • Flowers: Yellow-brown male catkins. Gold/Yellow, Brown/Copper
  • Bark: Scaly, gray, pale, and has broad ridges

7. Shumard Oak

  • Leaves: 4 – 9 inches, simple leaves, alternate, with five – nine deep lobes. The undersides are a bit pale and have the axils have hair, the leaves have reddish-purple new growth that transforms to dark green in summer, they are reddish-orange in Fall and leaves fall clean,
  • Flowers: Male flowers will be produced in yellowish-green and clustered catkins
  • Bark: Smooth when young, grey-brown in color, it turns black and has flat ridges with age
Closer image of the leaves of a Shumard Oak in a residential comnplex

(Image: Neonfreon16)

  • Acorns: 3/4 to 1-inch oval acorns that have a shallow thin and scaly brown cap. The cap covering ½ to 1/3 of the nut and it matures in two years
Image of an adult Myrtle Oak planted in a residential area.

(Image: Famartin17)

  • Acorns: Up to 5/8 inch, biennial oval – round dark brown acorns, the cap covers ¼ to 1/3 of the nut

8. Myrtle Oak

  • Leaves: Two inches long by one inch wide, dark green, leathery, evergreen, and shiny leaves, they are a lighter green-yellowish bloom underneath. The entire margins are rolled under and have a bristled tip. Leaves stay on the tree until new ones form in spring
  • Flowers: Male flowers in catkins
  • Bark: Smooth, becomes furrowed as it ages, dark gray to brown in color

9. Southern Live Oak

  • Leaves: Alternate, thick, green leaves that are two to five inches long & 0.8 to 1.5 inches wide, they are shiny on the upper surface & are pale with some gray tomentose hairs on the underside. They have a rounded – oblong – elliptic-obovate shape that has margins on the entire leaf but on new and young trees the margins are toothed. The leaves persist until winter2
  • Flowers: Elongated clusters on male flowers that are drooping, have 1 – 5 on pendulous catkins. They bloom in April
  • Bark: Dark brown, tinged with red, and are slightly furrowed
Photo of a young Southern Live Oak

(Image: Plant Image Library from Boston, USA18)

  • Acorns: Egg-shaped, 0.75 – 1-inch acorns on long stalks. They are produced in clusters of five or singly. They have bowl-shaped caps that have tiny sharp-pointed scales. They cove 1/3 of the nut and the fruits are available from September – November
Close up[ photo of the leaves and fruit of Water Oak.

(Image: USDA19)

  • Acorns: Half to one inch almost black acorns that have a flat, scaly cap that covers about a third of the nut. The acorn needs two growing seasons to achieve maturity. Involucral bracts are found in shallow cups & are imbricated. In North Carolina, the acorns are produced from September – November
  • Bark: Brown and smooth in early years and gray-black, furrowed when older, it is also rough

10. Water Oak

  • Leaves: They have a bluish-green – dark green color in Summer, are dull, 2 – 4 inches long, and 1 – 2 inches wide, they are bluish-green on the upper surface & appear paler with hairs on the undersides. alternate, simple, narrowly obovate – spatulate, the apex is shallowly lobed(with 3 lobes) or no lobes at all, the lobes are bristle-tipped while others lack bristles, the base is long & tapering from the center of the leaf, The midrib has 2 conspicuous lateral veins where the leaf broadens, has pubescent tuft in axils. Leaves may stay on throughout the winter in zones eight & nine in the Fall
  • Flowers: Male flowers – drooping catkins & female flowers – spikes. In North Carolina, flowers are available in April

11. Willow Oak

  • Leaves: Bright green to dark green in Summer, yellow-brown, yellow-orange, and reddish shade in fall, bristle-tipped, smooth-edged, and narrow6
  • Flowers: Yellow-green female and male catkins that are produced in the spring
  • Acorns: Half-an-inch long, rounded acorns that have a scaly bowl-like cap with striated brown & black bands. Acorns come in pairs or singly. Appears from September – November
Close up photo on the leaves and fruits of Willow Oak

(Image: Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.)20)

  • Bark: Gray to dark gray to brown furrowed bark as it ages
Photo of the seed of a White Oak on the ground.

(Image: Chris Light21)

  • Acorns: Acorns, three quarters – to one inch, initially green but tan when ripe, brown and have a lumpy cap covering a quarter to a third of the nut
  • Bark: Light, ashy gray, scaly bark that has a vertical block & scales

12. White Oak

  • Leaves: Oval-rounded shape, the leaves change color to burgundy or a showy red in the fall, elliptic and green, with fingerlike or rounded lobes with no bristles, the leaves have entire margins, widest at the center, glaucous beneath, pinnately-lobed
  • Flowers: Male flowers are pendulous, prominent, long , and yellowish-green. The chains are in clusters, the female flowers are produced on stalks, are reddish, and are a bit smaller & less showy

13. Turkey Oak

  • Leaves: Three lobes resembling a turkey foot, they are alternate and simple with 3 – 7 bristle-tipped lobes. The leaves are shiny-green above & paler with a few red hairs on the midvein below. They are red to red-brown in Fall and may last into winter
  • Flowers: Male flowers are in elongated and drooping clusters. Female flowers are short-stalked or sessile in the axils of the leaves. Blooms show in April
  • Bark: Dark grey-black mature bark with deeply furrowed and irregular ridges, the inner bark is reddish in color


Close up image of the fruit of Turkey Oak.

(Image: Rosser195422)

  • Acorns: Brown & one inch long with thin cap that is reddish-brown and has fuzzy scales. It covers about a third of the nut. Fruits are produced from September to October
Photo of the leaves of Laurel Oak on a black background.

(Image: Bruce Kirchoff from Greensboro, NC, USA23)

  • Acorns: Half to two thirds inches long, the acorn is round, dark-brown, and striated. The scaly cap is shallow but might cover up to a third of the acorn. The acorns mature in two years

14. Laurel Oak

  • Leaves: Three to five inches long and one point five inch wide elliptic – oblong, leathery leaves. They are glossy green and have paler undersides. Margins are entire and have shallow lobes. The leaves persist into winter in warmer climates
  • Flowers: Male catkins are yellow-green in color while female flowers appear in small reddish spikes
  • Bark: Dark brown and smooth at the beginning. It develops shallow fissures with flat, rough ridges as it matures

15. Overcup Oak

  • Leaves: Six to eight inches long, with shiny dark-green color & is wedge-shaped. The undersides are gray-green and have hairs. Margins have five to nine deeply rounded lobes. The varies in fall to yellow, brown or red7
  • Flowers: Pollen flowers are in a drooping and elongated cluster. The male & female flowers are produced in separate catkins but on the same tree. In North Carolina, flowers bloom in March – April
  • Bark: Gray and has deep furrows, scaly ridges or plates
Top view of the fruits of Overcup Oak.

(Image: Peter Chen 2.024)

  • Acorns: They are produced annually and are oval-oblong in shape, five to one inch long with 1 to 2 acorns in each stalk. The cup contains grey pubescent scales & is on most of the nut. They produce seeds at around 25 to 30 years. In North Carolina, the fruits are seen from September – October

Finding out these fun tree facts is quite interesting and if you’re into planting trees carbon offset, this tree would be a good choice. We can all agree that the benefits of planting trees outweighs the work involved in maintaining them. Planting just one tree can make all the difference.

Related Reading: How Many Trees Are Planted Each Year? Full List By Country, Type, Year

Different Types of Oak Trees in Florida Regions (Most Common Oak Tree in Florida)

South Florida has a tropical climate, which is mostly hot and humid, and experiences mild winters. That type of climate is only conducive for specific oak tree species that thrive in hot and humid conditions. Some of those trees include:

Florida Live Oak Trees (Live Oak Trees in Florida)

There are different types of oak trees in Florida, each region having its species of oak trees which makes us curious about what state has the most trees. Factors that determine which species grows in a certain region include climate, soil type, and location. The chart and pictures above can help you identify the trees growing in different regions.

Photo of a painting that shows the oak tree as its subject.

While oak trees are not invasive, location is important because some produce so many acorns that can become a nuisance if planted in the wrong place.

People who enjoy planting trees are well aware of how much effort it takes to maintain one. How much it will cost you to trim a tree may be of interest to you. If you’re not familiar with it, you can use a tree-trimming cost calculator to figure out what parameters contributed to the cost.

Having one in your home can be very useful especially if you care about the environment even though some people may find it to be labor-intensive. You can use a footprint calculator to estimate your environmental impact as a starting point for carbon offsetting. You can then choose the best carbon offset option based on the outcome and your preferences.

Below are the species you will likely find in different Florida regions.

Related Reading: How Many Trees Offset Carbon Emissions?

Types of Oak Trees in South Florida (South Florida Oak Trees)

An evergreen tree that grows 60 ft. in height.  The tree does well in salt marshes, well-drained woods, and pine flatwoods. The leaves have shallow lobes and a green and glossy outlook.

You can also use an Oak Tree leaf identification chart to help.

Bluejack Oak

A Bluejack oak does not grow so tall. It only reaches a height of about 36 ft.

The flowers are inconspicuous, and the leaves are simple and alternate. You will find the tree on dry pinelands and sandhills.

Chinquapin Oak

The tree has acorns that are light to dark brown in color and can grow up to 80 feet. It also has a rounded top and a much smaller spread than other oak trees, like live oak.

Turkey Oak

Turkey Oak is popular on pinelands and sandhills.8 The tree has flowers that appear at the tip of the branches and leaves that have three to seven lobes. It has a dark-gray furrowed and blocky bark.

Willow Oak

Willow Oaks can grow tall or not. They can reach a maximum height of 130 ft but some of the trees are as short as 30 feet.

The spear-shaped leaves are what set this tree apart from the rest of the species. They also have raised veins and bristle tips.

Swamp Laurel Oak

The tree thrives in wet and moist places. It can grow up to 100 feet and has dark grayish bark.3

The leaves are wide and alternate and some have what looks like a diamond shape. It is a deciduous tree, and its flowers are inconspicuous.

Central Florida Oak Trees (Myrtle Oak Tree Florida and Others)

The climate in Central Florida can be described as humid and subtropical. That climate is one of the best for most oak tree species.

  • Chapman Oak
  • Sand Live Oak
  • Bluejack Oak
  • Scrub Oak
  • Turkey Oak
  • Laurel Oak
  • Swamp Chestnut Oak
  • Water Oak
  • Running Oak

Oak trees are some of the most beautiful low-maintenance trees that you can plant anywhere. They do really well in tropical climates and most of them will thrive in well-drained soils. If you want a tree that can provide shade and help you offset your carbon emissions, oak trees are a good option.

Photo of a realistic painting with oak tree as its subject.


With a favorable climate in Florida, almost all types of oak trees can survive. All you need to do is go through the chart and pictures above to decide which types of oak trees in Florida you want to have in your yard.

Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Oak Trees in Florida

How Many Types of Oak Trees in Florida Are There? (Florida Oak Trees)

There are so many oak tree species available. The number is about 600 worldwide, and a good number of them are native to North America. Most types of oak trees will do well in tropical and subtropical climate areas like Florida and Texas. You can plant oak trees in your backyard or even along the streets in big cities for shade.

Can You Identify Types of Oak Trees by Leaf? (Oak Tree)

Yes. The easiest way to identify oak trees and many other trees is through the leaves. Different species will have differently shaped leaves that can help you identify the tree. You can use the chart and pictures above to learn how to differentiate the species through the leaves.

What Are the Types of Oak Trees in California?

California has multiple oak tree species, and most of them are native to the state.9 Some of these trees include Blue Oak, Island Oak, Engelmann Oak, Interior Live Oak, Shreve’s Oak,  Canyon Live Oak, and Coast Live Oak.

What Are the Types of Oak Trees in Texas?

Texas is full of beautiful and different oak tree species that are distributed throughout the state. Some of the most common ones include northern red oak, black oak, southern live oak, water oak, White Oak, bur oak, Chinquapin Oak, Shumard’s Oak, Laurel Oak,  Post oak, and Overcup Oak.

Do Oak Trees in Florida Lose Their Leaves?

Yes. Most of the oak trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves during Winter. However, there are a few species that are types of evergreen trees. For example, Southern Live Oak does not lose its leaves at any time throughout the year. It is one of the oak trees that will thrive year in and year out without dropping its leaves.

Do Oak Trees Lose Their Leaves in Autumn?

Yes. Various types of oak trees in Florida will lose their leaves in Autumn because they are deciduous. However, not all oak trees do that. There are oak trees that retain their leaves even in cold months but the ratio is very small compared to that of deciduous oak trees.

Do Deciduous Trees Lose Their Leaves in Warm Climates?

Yes. Deciduous trees can also lose their leaves even in warm climates.10 As much as water and temperature are some of the main factors that contribute to the leaf drop in deciduous plants, they are not the only ones. The trees can sense when the seasons are about to change and can therefore drop leaves even in places where the weather is mostly warm.

Why Is My Oak Tree Losing Leaves in Summer?

Trees do that to prevent great water loss. However, it could also be a sign of disease or death caused by root rot or insect attacks. Check the tree regularly to ensure it does not suffer from some deadly diseases like root rot.

Is There a Southern Red Oak Tree in Florida? (Red Oak Tree)

Yes. The red oak tree grows on poor upland soils, which are mostly found in Northern Florida. You are therefore likely to find the tree on sandy ridges within the state.


1Godfrey, J. (2022). Oak Trees: Kings of Biodiversity. One Earth. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from <https://www.oneearth.org/oak-trees-kings-of-biodiversity/>

2National Wildlife Federation. Southern Live Oak. (2022). National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Retrieved October 11, 2022, from <https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Plants-and-Fungi/Southern-Live-Oak>

3Florida Native Plant Society. Quercus laurifolia. (2022). Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS). Retrieved October 11, 2022, from <https://www.fnps.org/plant/quercus-laurifolia>

4University of Florida IFAS. (2015). Quercus incana, Bluejack Oak. IFAS Horticulture. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/Pages/queinc/queinc.shtml>

5University of Florida IFAS. (2015). Quercus austrina, Bluff Oak. IFAS Horticulture. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/Pages/queaus/queaus.shtml>

6Gilman, E. F., & Watson, D. G. (2015, April 7). Quercus Phellos: Willow Oak. IFAS Extension. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/ST556>

7Gilman, E. F., & Watson, D. G. (2015, April 16). Quercus Lyrata: Overcup Oak. IFAS Extension. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/ST550>

8University of Florida IFAS. (2021). Turkey Oak. IFAS Gardening Solutions. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/trees-and-shrubs/trees/turkey-oak.html>

9UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology. (2022). California Native Oaks. Nature Berkeley.edu. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://nature.berkeley.edu/garbelottowp/>

10ACS Distance Education. (2022). Deciduous Trees. ACS.edu. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://www.acs.edu.au/courses/deciduous-trees-496.aspx>

11By Yercaud-elango. CC BY-SA 4.0. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=113985976>

12By Chris Light. CC BY-SA 4.0. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=111151080>

13By Vojtěch Zavadil. CC BY-SA 3.0. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21742127>

14By psweet. CC BY-SA 4.0. Resized and Changed Format. iNaturalist. Retrieved from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/153360876>

15By Doug Goldman. CC BY 4.0. Resized and Changed Format. iNaturalist. Retrieved from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/55493555>

16By Neonfreon. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons. <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9790526>

17By Famartin. CC BY-SA 4.0. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65000974>

18By Plant Image Library from Boston, USA. CC BY-SA 2.0. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. <https://flickr.com/photos/138014579@N08/32308529240>

19USDA. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1079274>

20By Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.), Bugwood.org. CC BY-SA 3.0. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28049690>

21By Chris Light. CC BY-SA 4.0. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=110295789>

22By Rosser1954. CC BY-SA 4.0. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=124035251>

23By Bruce Kirchoff from Greensboro, NC, USA . CC BY 2.0. Resized and Changed Format. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flickr.com/photos/34669428@N06/23819151079>

24By Peter Chen 2.0. CC BY 4.0. Resized and Changed Format. iNaturalist. Retrieved from <https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/93207564>