Quercus pungens

Pungent Oak, Sandpaper Oak

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  • Quercus pungens

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New Zealand

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: none required
Germination: sow seed 3/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Looking for a hardy and unique tree option? Look no further than Quercus pungens, also known as the sandpaper oak or scrub oak. This North American species is an evergreen or sub-evergreen shrub or small tree, and is part of the white oak group. With a bark that is light brown and papery, and gray twigs that become smooth with age, Quercus pungens can grow up to 40 feet high. Its glossy green leaves are semi-evergreen, but have a rough texture like sandpaper. This species produces shallow acorn cups that are covered in dense gray hairs. Quercus pungens thrives in dry limestone or igneous slopes, and can grow in chaparral and desert scrub savanna, alongside other native plants like juniper and pinyon pine. In fact, it is known to grow in the southern part of the Colorado Plateau, in the Great Plains, and in various hardwood ecosystems. While it could generally survive low-intensity fast fires, increasingly longer fire return intervals and overgrazing have led to the suppression of fire regimes. Prescribed burning can help it thrive. Quercus pungens is a dominant species in several communities, including in the Mohr shin oak series, oneseed juniper series, and in the pungent oak-true mountain-mahogany series.

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