"Not What You Think" Oak

Rooftree

Explorer
Mar 24, 2017
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Haddon Township
With Bob's excursions to Cape May County, got back to my oak tree project. Back in the fall of 2022, I tried to find and ID as many species of Oaks I could.

I came across this one. Big HINT: It is not a Scarlet Oak. So what species of Oak is it.

Shumard Oak (2).jpg
 
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Rooftree

Explorer
Mar 24, 2017
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Haddon Township
No. Bob. This oak is not native to NJ. This tree was planted at its location. Here's 3 other trees with the similar incorrect plaque. Take a look at your tree books.
 

Rooftree

Explorer
Mar 24, 2017
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Haddon Township
Bob; you are correct. There's a little story behind this. When I visted the tree that had the plaque that identified the tree was an scarlet oak, I took it as being that. At the time there were no acorns or leaves on the ground and the lowest branch was 20 feet up. Shortly later I did see the leaf and acorn of this tree. There was no need to check the guide book since the plaque identified as a scalet oak. Couple weeks later I visited two trees that were on one of my running routes that I always thought was a scarlet oak. The leaf looked the same, but the acorn was different. I had read that oak trees can hybridize. I thought this may be the case. I came across an youtube video by a Duke University professor talking about oak hybridization. Getting into this 'Oak" stuff, I decided to email him with my question and sent him a photo of the leaf and acorn of the tree on my running route. He says it's a scarlet oak. How can that be when the acorn from the oak with the plaque was different. So. I made a short drive over to the oak with the plaque an placed some leaves and acorns next to it. I took a photo and sent it to the professor. He came back and said it is a shumard oak. So for all these years going back to 1945, the tree identified on the plaque was incorrect.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
Bob; you are correct. There's a little story behind this. When I visted the tree that had the plaque that identified the tree was an scarlet oak, I took it as being that. At the time there were no acorns or leaves on the ground and the lowest branch was 20 feet up. Shortly later I did see the leaf and acorn of this tree. There was no need to check the guide book since the plaque identified as a scalet oak. Couple weeks later I visited two trees that were on one of my running routes that I always thought was a scarlet oak. The leaf looked the same, but the acorn was different. I had read that oak trees can hybridize. I thought this may be the case. I came across an youtube video by a Duke University professor talking about oak hybridization. Getting into this 'Oak" stuff, I decided to email him with my question and sent him a photo of the leaf and acorn of the tree on my running route. He says it's a scarlet oak. How can that be when the acorn from the oak with the plaque was different. So. I made a short drive over to the oak with the plaque an placed some leaves and acorns next to it. I took a photo and sent it to the professor. He came back and said it is a shumard oak. So for all these years going back to 1945, the tree identified on the plaque was incorrect.
Oaks are like Rubus (Bramble) to me. The hybridization is out of control. Very hard to make an ID when genes are mixed up.
 

stiltzkin

Explorer
Feb 8, 2022
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Medford
Just following along as I'm trying to learn a bit and I find this interesting. Especially that they probably got the identification wrong!

I think the professor was likely correct. The acorns look more like Shumard Oak.

Seems like another way to tell would be to look at the terminal buds. Compare Q. shumardii (glabrous) with Q. coccinea (described as "uniformly pubescent" in the literature):

Quercus_coccinea_1_ix94ywY9kAaO.jpg

Photo by Douglas Goldman, USDA
CC BY-NC 4.0
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
14,363
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Pines; Bamber area
Hey Ron, did you think of getting someone to change the plaque? Seems fitting to do it. I didn't think so when you first showed me, but now.....
 

Rooftree

Explorer
Mar 24, 2017
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Hey Ron, did you think of getting someone to change the plaque? Seems fitting to do it. I didn't think so when you first showed me, but now....
At the time, the professor said the same things. I don't think it's worth the trouble. They were incorrect for the past 80 years. The people incharge probably never even saw the memorial plaques. What's more important is to remember the person whose name is on the plaque. There's even one memorial with scarlet oak that doesn't have a tree.

I never seen people wandering around on the property looking at trees, even though there is a 500 year old white oak present.
 
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