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Turkey Oak

Quercus laevis

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Quercus (KWER-kus) (Info)
Species: laevis (LEE-viss) (Info)



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


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

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring




Good Fall Color

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

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Atmore, Alabama

Bartow, Florida

Beverly Hills, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Hallandale, Florida

Hernando, Florida

Jupiter, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 15, 2006, RainFallFlowers from Hernando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have quite a few of these on my property, some are very nice shade trees and some look more like scrubs.
I love the larger ones but I tend to lose the trees after they reach a certain height. They end up dying, rotting and cracking in half. For that reason I give it a negative.


On Jul 17, 2005, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

With so many people in my area wanting smaller sized trees to plant because of fear of them falling on their house in a hurricane it's a shame trees like this one are not made more availible. It upsets me everytime I see someone planting one of those awful bradford pear trees.


On Jan 1, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

The Turkey Oak is a drought-tolerant, small to medium tree, native to the longleaf pine sandhills and dry, sandy pine flatwoods and sandy, dry, xeric sites and sandhills on the coastal plain of the southeastern U.S. from southeast Virginia south through Florida to the central and south-central half of the state, westward to Louisiana. It is an excellent, highly drought-tolerant native small to medium tree that provides shelter or food for wildlife. It plays an important ecological role as well in the longleaf pine sandhill communities in the southeastern U.S. as well, especially involving the role of fire that helps clear old brush and disperse the seeds. A great plant for a native plant garden from zone 7b south to zone 10a and for drought-tolerant native plant xeriscaping and wildlife be... read more


On Dec 24, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This one has some promise for those of you desirous of a broad leafed deciduous oak with big acorns and happen to be located in the southern half of Florida. This species isn't a big tree, 20-40 feet in maturity with a spreading habit but has been found occuring in xeric (dry) sites in Martin county and even as far south as Collier county. There is some hope afterall so don't put in that palm tree just yet.

Tree offers good fall color with the right conditions although might remain on the tree through winter. Leaves are shaped like a turkey's foot as already mentioned.

For everyone else, it's native range starts in Virginia but it's a low elevation tree.


On Oct 17, 2004, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Characteristically this tree grows in dry pine forests. The common name derives from the shape of some of the leaves resembling a turkey track in outline. The tree usually grows in the open where it receives a lot of light