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

Woman looks at the state of Texas with Oak Trees planted on it and wonders with her hand on her chin about the types of Oak trees in Texas.

Oak trees cover the country, but did you know that there are certain types of oak trees in Texas?

The state has about 50 different oak tree species that grow in different parts of the state which means you can find oak trees in landscapes and homes all over Texas.

Aside from helping offset carbon emissions, these huge statuesque trees promote wildlife because they have edible fruits called acorns and act as shelters for many animals. When planted at home, Oak trees block the wind, protect against erosion, and improve your home’s curb appeal.

Oak trees can be classified into two categories, red oak and white oak trees,11 where the leaves are the main identifying factor. White oak trees develop acorns faster than red oak trees and their leaves have a whitish color beneath the leaf and have rounded tips.1

Photo of an oak tree bark showing its rugged top appearance.

On the other hand, red oaks have deep red leaves with pointed tips.

This complete Oak tree guide discusses the 15 of the most popular types of oak trees in Texas, with a chart and pictures which means that by the end of the article, you should know which Oak you might see and which ones will look great in your backyard.

Types of Oak Trees in Texas (Oak Tree)

See below for the 15 types of Oak trees in Texas.

Type of Oak TreeLeavesFlowersAcornBark
1. Live OakEvergreen, elliptical, lanceolate shape, oblong, oval shape, no lobes, thick, glossy, leathery feel, fuzzy underside, 5 – 13 cm long and 4 cm wideYellowish-green flower clusters, inconspicuous, cylindrical, 7.5 cm long (catkins)Egg-shaped, warty cap, dark color, grows in clusters of five, and the cap covers one-third of the nutDark brown scaly bark, reddish furrows
2. Red OakLobed, pointed tips, bristles at the tips, 12 – 22 cm longSeparate male and female flowers; male flowers are a yellow-green color, appearing in slender catkins, 2 to 4 inches long at the ends of the prior years’ growth, female flowers are more reddish-green and appear as small slender spikes in the axils of new growthVery bitter, mature in 2 yearsSmooth, silvery brown – almost black and fissured as it ages
3. Mexican OakAlternate, simple, 2 inches-5 inches long, highly variable, often has a few shallow lobes or serration as you move to the tip, leathery, thick, & semi-evergreen, with raised veins beneath the leafMale and female flowers are borne in spring on the same tree, the male flowers on catkins up to 4″ long, the female flowers less conspicuousMatures in one year, up to 1″ long and enclosed one-half by the acorn cupDark to light gray, develops scales and flaky plates, shallow fissures on older trunks
4. Bur OakLarge leaves, unusually shaped, small lobes, broad rounded apexMale flowers are elongated, drooping finger-like catkin, female flowers are slightly larger and much fewer in numberLarge broadly elliptical acorn, 3/4 to 2 inches long, 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide, enclosed in a deep cap, light brown to grayishMedium-gray, deep, narrow scales, vertical ridges
5. Monterrey OakPeach and red colored leaves mature into a dark green color in Spring, 4 – 5 inches long with smooth edges, very leathery textureYellow-green flowers around AprilMedium-sized acorns, heavyLight gray bark, smooth, turns dark gray to black with deep fissures when mature

Photo showing the bark and branches of the red oak tree.

Type of Oak Tree
6. Chinquapin OakSimple, dark, yellowish-green, ovate leaves bluntly toothed & 4-6½ inches long, yellow-orange in fallSeparate staminate and pistillate flowers on each tree, irregularly lobed hairy calyx, and several stamens in male flowers, female flowers are produced individually or in very short spikes (with 2-3 female flowers)Sweet, edible, mature in 1 season, ¾” long and ovoid in shape, pale gray cap that is slightly tuberculate (bumpy or warty)Ashy light gray breaks into narrow, thin flakes
7. Lacey Oak5Simple, alternate on the twigs, long and up to 2″ wide, leathery, variably lobed, shallow, and irregular lobesMale flowers on catkins are about 2.5″ long, female flowers inconspicuous, about 0.5″ long, Male and female flowers are borne in spring on the same treeMatures in one year, in clusters of 1 to 3, about 0.75″ long, ovoid, enclosed one-quarter to one-half its length by the saucer-shaped cupGray, thick, breaking into narrow plates and fissures on older trunks
8. Post OakSlightly lobed, Maltese cross shapeSeparate female & male flowers on the tree, The male flowers have a few stamens & cup-shaped pubescent calyx that have jagged upper rims, the female flowers, on the other hand, are produced clusters of two to four and are near the tips of the twigs3/4 inch long, sometimes to 1 1/4 inches, the cup without the fringeLight gray, fissured, thick
9. Willow OakNarrow, smooth, pointed, lanceolate-shaped, no lopes or teethInconspicuous; male catkins are pendulousA small, ½-inch acorn is topped by a shallow capRough, gray-brown, narrow fissures as it matures
10. Nuttall OakLustrous, dark green deciduous leaves that are 4″ to 9″ long with deep lobes and wide, rounded sinusesMale flowers in catkins, female flowers inconspicuous, solitary or several in short spikesOblong acorns that are ¾” to 1¼” long with a turbinate (bumpy) capSmooth, medium to dark gray, furrowed on large trees, shallow-grooved, and with flat, scaly ridges with age

Photo of an oak tree covered mostly with moss.

Type of Oak Tree
11. Black OakDeeply lobed, glossy green, U-shaped, fine hairs on the underside.Pistillate flowers are borne in the axils of the current year’s leaves and may be solitary or occur in two- to many-flowered spikes, staminate flowers develop from leaf axils of the previous year, and the catkins emerge before or at the same time as the current leaves in April or May,0.38 – 0.5 inches long & wide. A dark brown color, the acorn has a vertical black striping. The elongated and overlapping shingles on the caps make the acorn stand out. They also extend half – three-quarters of the length of the acornScaly with shallow fissures, grayish-black
12. White OakLobed, rounded tips, no bristles, 12 – 22 cm longSeparate male and female flowers,6
female flowers are green-red and are at the tips of new shoots
Sweet or slightly bitter, 1 year to matureSmooth, silvery brown – light gray and fissured as it ages
13. Laurel OakShiny green, diamond-shaped, long and narrow, can be lobedOn the plain side, both males and females on the same tree, less than flashy flowers2 years to mature, brown to almost black, 13 mm (0.5 in) in both diameter and length, with one-quarter or less enclosed in a thin saucerlike cupRough ridges, dark-brown, shallow fissures
14. Swamp Spanish oakBright green with a broad oval shape, ovate or obovate, lobed margins, yellowish-brown or red color in the fallDangling catkins, golden yellowBrown, barrel-shaped acorns, stumpy oval brown nuts, 2 cm long and wide, gray scaly acorn cap with fine hairs, covers one half of the acornPeeling, dark gray, deep, rough, vertical furrows
15. Gambel OakObovate, distinct deep rounded lobesInsignificant, yellowSmall greenish-brown acornsRough, brownish-gray

Oak Tree Trunk Close-Up

Oak Tree in Spring

It might be enjoyable to learn about various tree species, especially for individuals who are interested in ecological sustainability. The simplest action one can take to protect the environment is to plant a tree that is appropriate for its location.

Though maintaining them requires a lot of work, including periodic trimming to ensure their health. Some people may inquire about the cost of an arborist, but before hiring one, you should try the tree trimming cost calculator to get an estimate.

Related Reading: Crane-Assisted Tree Removal Cost Calculator: Enter Tree Info To Get an Estimate

Types of Oak Trees in Texas (East Texas Oak Trees)

Here are the types of Oak Trees in East Texas.

Swamp Chestnut Oak

The tree has a shiny and smooth dark green upper surface of the leaves and a rounded crown. Swamp Chestnut Oak trees have a reddish inner bark, and the mature trees have a scaly one.

It flowers between April and May, and the fruits come out from September to October.

Overcup Oak

The overcup oak tree grows west to the Navasota River valley in poorly drained bottomlands.7 The fruit ripens in a single season and has a unique shape that looks somewhat flat.

The simple, alternate leaves are dark green and glossy but turn orange in the Fall. The tree can grow up to 90 feet and has an irregular crown formed by the crooked branches.

Lacey Oak

The tree has grayish-green or dark blue foliage in Summer, but it changes to peachy in the Fall.2 The tree grows to a medium height of about 60 ft, and the bark has scaly ridges and shallow furrows.

It is also an oak wilt-resistant tree, making it a good tree in various locations all over Texas.

Shumard Oak

The large and wide leaves are what make it easy to identify Shumard oak trees. They are also quite tall and can grow up to 100 feet.

The branches form a symmetrical crown that makes it a perfect shade tree. The tree mostly occurs in the fertile soils of East Texas and can be found as a single tree or in small groups.

Nuttall Oak

You will find the tree in drainage basins, bottomlands, and floodplains. The crown is pyramidical and narrow in small trees but widens and opens as it ages.

These trees can easily be spotted as their average height is 50 ft, and they can grow up to a width of 40 ft. The Nuttall Oak is a deciduous tree where acorn is reddish-brown in color and can also tolerate high temperatures and has medium water requirements.

Knowing these types of oak trees and with the number of cities in Texas, one might ask, does this state have the city with most trees? One could only wish to reside in a state that has made significant environmental contributions.

Related Reading: How Many Trees Needed to Offset Your Carbon Emissions?

Types of Oak Trees in Texas (Central Texas Oak Trees)

See the list below for the types of Oak Trees in Central Texas.

Bur Oak Texas

The Bur Oak tree grows in Central Texas, reaches about 80 ft, and grows along banks, streams, and hillsides.8 You can also find the tree in landscapes throughout Texas.

Close up photo of an oak tree bark under a direct rays of sunlight.

Animals love the trees’ acorns, taking a single season to mature. It has a thick trunk and bold limbs, making it quite easy to identify.

Red Oak Tree

The tree has spreading branches and grows up to about 50 ft. Some trees could grow to 75 ft, but that is on very rare occasions as it is generally a small to medium tree.

The catkins and the acorns have the same reddish-brown color, and the bark is dark gray with scales on the surface. The tree’s flowers bloom in Spring, and the tree can tolerate high temperatures which tells us that the Texas Red oak tree is almost similar in characteristics to the Shumard oak.

Live Oak Tree (Live Oak Tree Height)

The Live Oak tree is a very short tree species that grows up to about 50ft which, however, has a diameter of about 4 ft. The tree also has a dense crown that can spread over 100 ft, and twisting limbs that hang low, almost touching the ground.

Live Oak is a popular landscape tree that grows all over Central Texas. Its curved limbs make it perfect for shipbuilding, but nowadays, the tree is just used as a shade tree in most places.

Hinckley’s Oak

The evergreen shrub has interwoven branches with red leaves and twigs that later become blue-green and light brown, respectively. The leaves are also round, hairless, waxy, and have a leathery feel.

The acorns have saucer-shaped caps that are about 1-3 mm tall. The leaves also have six teeth-like tips.

Sandpaper Oak

The Sandpaper Oak is a small tree that grows up to 20 ft. It has a very high tolerance for hot temperatures and has acorns that are reddish-brown.

It is also an evergreen tree with shiny toothed leaves that are small and green. It feels rough at the top, much like sandpaper which makes them easy to identify.

Monterrey Oak Tree

The tree does well in well-drained clay soils and is also drought-resistant. Monterrey Oak trees can retain their leaves almost all year long, depending on location.

Close up photo of an oak tree leaf.

(Image: analogicus13)

In Dallas, however, the tree leaves start falling in December. The leaves have a leathery feel and smooth edges while the mature Monterrey Oaks have round canopies that can spread wide and far.

Lacey Oak

The Lacey oak can have multiple trunks and grows to about 60 ft. The best thing about the tree is that it is oak-wilt-resistant which makes it an excellent tree to plant anywhere in Texas.

Also, from the chart and pictures in this guide, you can see that it is a beautiful shade tree.

Chinquapin Oak

Chinquapin Oak is a medium-sized deciduous tree that can grow up to 60 ft. You can tell it apart through its upright and slender canopy in its early stages.

The canopy gets round as the tree ages and provides the perfect shade. The tree grows quite fast, and you will find it in moist bottomlands.

Monterrey Oak Pros and Cons

One of the advantages of having this tree is that it adapts to many soil types.9 The tree is also drought-resistant, which can tolerate very low water conditions, and has a wide canopy that provides shade to animals and people.

Oak trees are tall and beautiful and live so long. They might not be considered one of the rarest trees in the world but they are the trees that the world cannot live without.

Most of the trees are deciduous, but a few evergreen oak tree species exist. The trees can grow up to 100 ft, and most of them have a widespread where most of their fruit is edible to animals and people, which makes oak trees an important part of the ecosystem.

We can take part in helping the environment by asking the vital question, what is my ecological footprint? Determine the causes and find ways to mitigate the effects in our own modest ways.

The best carbon offset providers can help you, or you can become active in carbon offsetting tree planting; either option is beneficial.

The main disadvantage of having a Monterrey Oak in your backyard is the flowers and the acorns as they can be a nuisance once the tree starts producing them. However, acorns do not develop on oak trees until the trees are 20-30 years old and then after that, the trees start producing thousands of acorns every year which means that a tree with acorns has been around for quite some time.

Can You Identify Different Types of Oak Trees By Leaf?

Yes, leaf identification is the easiest way to tell the many oak tree species apart and while red oak trees will have pointed tips and red color, white oaks will have rounded tips and a white underside. It is easy to classify the tree and eventually pinpoint the specific species.

Low angle photo of an oak tree without the leaves.

There are other ways to identify the tree, like through the acorns and the bark, but the leaves make the easiest identification method because of their distinctive characteristics. Before you can even place the exact species, the leaves will automatically tell you whether a tree belongs to the Quercus genus.10

Types of Oak Trees in Different States

One of the most prevalent types of trees is the oak tree. Ever wonder what state has the most trees and what varieties of oak trees may be found there?

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

There are about 50 types of oak trees in Texas where species have different characteristics and growth requirements.

Oak trees are divided into two categories, namely: White and Red oak trees. The best way to identify the two tree categories is through their leaves where one has a white underside, and the other has deep red leaves.

Close-up of green lobed leaves of an oak tree with acorns at different stages of maturity nestled among the foliage against a clear blue sky.

(Image: Marina Yalanska12)

The white oak leaves have rounded tips, while the red oak leaves have pointed ones. You can also tell the trees apart through the production rate of the acorns as white oaks will produce acorns before red oaks.

Texas has both white and red oaks.

What Are the Types of Oak Trees in East Texas?

Over 50 oak tree species are native to Northern America. East Texas has a climate that allows the trees to grow and flourish which implies that places like Houston have multiple oak tree species in their parks, streets, and homesteads.

Some species, like the Live Oak tree species, will have a large green canopy throughout the year that provides shade and beauty to the cities in East Texas. Other oak trees you will find in this region are Swamp Chestnut Oak, Bur Oak, Overcup Oak, Lacey Oak, Shumard Oak, and Nuttall Oak.

What Are the Types of Oak Trees in Austin?

Though Austin is a city that values its tree cover as it has trees of over 30% of its size, the climate, however, limits the species that can grow in the region. Even in this condition, there are still a variety of oak tree species that thrive in the hot and dry climate of Central Texas which include Live Oak, Hinckley’s Oak, Sandpaper Oak, Red Oak, Mexican Oak, Lacey Oak, Chinquapin Oak, Bur Oak, and Southern Red Oak.

The trees grow very tall and can tolerate dry soil and sunny conditions. Austin has the ideal conditions for the above trees, but you also need to put a little effort into maintaining the trees.

What Are the Types of Oak Trees in Florida?

Almost half of Florida is covered in trees, making the state beautiful. Oak trees do well in this sunshine state because they can tolerate the heatwaves in summer and have minimal maintenance requirements.

You will find oak trees in Florida’s many parks and forests, but residents of this beautiful state also plant them in their backyards. The oak tree types you will likely find in Florida are Black Oak, Bluejack Oak, Bluff Oak, Chapman Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Live Oak, Myrtle Oak, Overcup Oak, Post Oak, and Shumard Oak.

What Are the Types of Oak Trees in California?

Besides the giant redwood trees that are common in California, you can also find multiple types of oak trees in the state. The climate is conducive, and the state intentionally maintains a high forest cover.

Close up photo of an oak tree bark covered with dried moss.

The beautiful tall oak trees are both in homes and forests, providing shade and shelter for animals and people in the state of California. Here are the species that do well in California and ones that you can easily come across within the state: Black Oak, Blue Oak, Canyon Live Oak, Coast Live Oak, Engelmann Oak,3 Interior Live Oak, Island Oak, Oregon Oak, Shreve’s Oak,4 and Valley Oak.

With all the trees discussed in this guide, you can now identify the various types of oak trees in Texas as well as other states.

Read More About Types of Oak Trees in Texas


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2The University of Texas at Austin. (2015, November 18). Quercus laceyi (Lacey oak). Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from <https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php>

3Arroyo Seco Foundation. (2022). Help Save the Spectacular Engelmann Oak. Arroyo Seco. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from <https://www.arroyoseco.org/eoak.htm>

4California Native Plant Society. (2022). Shreve Oak, Quercus parvula var. shrevei. Calscape. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from <https://calscape.org/Quercus-parvula-var.-shrevei-(Shreve-Oak)>

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6Coder, K. D. (2021, October 18). Are Your Trees Boys or Girls — or Both? CAES Newswire. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://newswire.caes.uga.edu/story/3391/tree-sex.html>

7University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. (2022). Plant of the Week: Overcup Oak. UAEX Division of Agriculture. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://www.uaex.uada.edu/yard-garden/resource-library/plant-week/oak-overcup-09-20-13.aspx>

8Texas A&M Forest Service. (2022). Bur Oak. Texas Tree ID. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <http://texastreeid.tamu.edu/content/TreeDetails/>

9UC Santa Cruz. (2022). Soils and Soil Physical Properties. Center for Agroecology. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from <https://agroecology.ucsc.edu/documents/Teaching%20Organic%20Farming/2.1a_soil_physical.pdf>

10University of South Florida. (2022). Quercus. Atlas of Florida Plants. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from <https://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Genus.aspx>

11Cornell University. (2020, June). Red and White Oak. Cornell University Cooperative Extension. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from <https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/blogs.cornell.edu/dist/b/5769/files/2020/07/Red-and-White-Oak.pdf>

12Photo by Marina Yalanska. Unsplash. Retrieved from <https://unsplash.com/photos/a-close-up-of-a-tree-with-green-leaves-adoydeiuBqs>

13Photo byanalogicus. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/leaves-forest-oak-spring-sunshine-5151586/>