Calling all writers, especially those who wax poetic! If you have a way with words, here's your chance to put pen to paper and try your hand at writing an award-winning piece for us. Find all the details on our contest page.

Northern Pin Oak, Hill's Oak

Quercus ellipsoidalis

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Quercus (KWER-kus) (Info)
Species: ellipsoidalis (e-lip-soy-DAY-lis) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Marietta, Georgia

Hampton, Illinois

Lisle, Illinois

Andover, Kansas

Tecumseh, Michigan

Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

South Saint Paul, Minnesota

Bucyrus, Ohio

Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Elmwood, Wisconsin

Rhinelander, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 28, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Native to MN, WI, IA, northern IL & IN, and to spots in MI. Good quality shade tree that should be planted more. Offered by a few large nurseries and native plant nurseries, but not a big item. It develops a taproot which makes it harder to transplant, so most nurseries don't grow it for a balled & burlapped product. Can be grown in containers just fine. Northern Red Oak and Pin Oak are similar and are planted much more. Grows in well-drained upland soils that are acid or slightly alkaline of pH 6.0 to 7.5. Would not have the leaf yellowing iron chlorosis problem that Pin Oak develops so often in soils that are not acid enough, that are above 6.7 pH. So far, I have only seen it at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, in their Oak Collection, so it is not a common tree everywhere, just in a few s... read more


On Dec 23, 2004, riversandbar from Inver Grove Heights, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

The leaves of Northern Pin Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) can be distinguished from Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) by the deep sinuses and shiny surface of the former compared to the shallow sinuses and (often) dull surfaces of the latter. The leaves of Northern Pin Oak (Q. ellipsoidalis) are similar to those of Scarlet Oak (Q. coccinea), Pin Oak (Q. palustris) and Black Oak (Q. velutina). The first two are very rare in southern Wisconsin and Minnesota. Black Oak (Q. velutina) is more common, but is mostly southern also.

Northern Pin Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) is distributed primarily in the middle and western parts of the Great Lakes region -- from central Michigan east to noth-central Wisconsin, eastern Iowa, northern Illinois, and northern Indiana. Disjunct populations ... read more