Black Oak - Quercus velutina Beech Family (Fagaceae)

The black oak is a stately oak that was introduced to commerce as early as 1800. It can reach a height of more than 100 feet.1

The very prominent tap root of black oak ensures this species’ survival under poor growing conditions.1

The specific epithet, velutina, is derived from the Latin word for fleece, wool or down, vellus, which refers to this species’ velvety winter buds and young foliage.1

The black oak’s common name refers to its nearly black bark. This oak’s inner bark, however, is yellow or deep orange and is used to make a yellow dye called quercitron.1

Its bark, which is typically dark blackish or brownish grey with deep vertical furrows and horizontal breaks running across the trunk.2