Chinkapin Oak, Yellow Chestnut Oak

Quercus muehlenbergii

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Quercus (KWER-kus) (Info)
Species: muehlenbergii (mew-len-BERG-ee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Quercus acuminata
Synonym:Quercus alexanderi
Synonym:Quercus muhlenbergii
Synonym:Quercus prinoides
Synonym:Quercus prinoides var. acuminata



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


over 40 ft. (12 m)


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)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Little Rock, Arkansas

Batavia, Illinois

Kingman, Kansas

Olathe, Kansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas(2 reports)

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Nicholasville, Kentucky

Paris, Kentucky

Versailles, Kentucky

Jackson, Missouri

Lincoln, Nebraska

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cincinnati, Ohio

Tidioute, Pennsylvania

Christiana, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Driftwood, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Keller, Texas

San Angelo, Texas

Wimberley, Texas

Cambridge, Wisconsin

Elmwood, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 17, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Handsome shade tree similar looking to White Oak with different shaped leaves and slightly different bark. There are a number of trees growing in the dolomitic limestone soils in Glenwood Park in Batavia, IL on the east side of the Fox River with Blue Ash and Bigtooth Aspens; none of which are trees one just finds everywhere, but just in certain spots.


On Mar 29, 2011, Gardeningman from Kingman, KS (Zone 6b) wrote:

The Quercus muehlenbergii is very drought tolerant and can handle most soil conditions. It has been named a Texas Superstar. As one member previously commented, the acorns are very sweet and are a preferred food source for a variety of wildlife.
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite trees. I am looking for a tree for my yard and would plant a
Chinkapin Oak if I had the room for it.


On Dec 28, 2010, steadycam3 from Houston Heights, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I dont see this tree anymore. My great grandparents had a tree growing in sandy soil in Northern Louisiana. We did not refer to its nuts as acorns altho I now know that they surely are. We just called them Chinqapins! The nuts were smaller and more slender than most acorns and were almost black and very shiny. I would like to see more of them grown because the nuts are so sweet and delicious, and can be eaten without any preparation right off the tree. There is none of the bitter tannin taste of the usual acorn.


On Jan 30, 2008, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Chinkapin oak is one of the great denizens of the historic central KY landscape, along with bur oak and blue ash. The old specimens which persist out in the open agricultural lands exhibit the broad and contorted canopy of a tree which grew up without forest competition.

These trees grow equally well on well-drained upland circumneutral calcareous soils or the richer moister bottomland soils along creeks and watersheds. Along with the aforementioned species, chinkapin oak associates with KY coffeetree, white ash, black cherry, sugar maple, black locust, honeylocust, sycamore, and various hickories.

While the typical chinkapin oak around here has rather reserved yellow fall color, there is variation in the species. I have recently purchased individuals with ... read more


On Dec 6, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tree belongs to the White Oak group. It grows to a height of (up to) 60'. Acorns are small, foliage is deep green and the tree grows at a slow-moderate rate. Foliage in the fall can be nice if the right conditions are present (rain, for one). It does not like heavy soils, like clay. Soil must be well-drained for it to survive.