Chinkapin Oak - Quercus muehlenbergii Beech Family (Fagaceae)

The wood of the chinkapin oak has been used for split-rail fences, railroad ties and construction lumber. It is noted historically for its role in fueling steamships along the Ohio River. While this durable wood made excellent fences in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, when farms fell by the way, the wooden fences were collected and placed on the river bank to sell to passing engineers.1

The Chinkapin Oak is tolerant of flooding and drought. It is an important food source for wildlife, especially deer and squirrels. The acorns are also eaten by birds and small mammals.2

The leaves of the Chinkapin oak resemble the leaves of the chestnut tree. The word Chinkapin is derived from the Algonquin word chechkipin, which means chestnut.2

The Chinkapin Oak can be easily recognized due to its small, toothed leaves. Unlike most oaks, the Chinkapin has unusually flaky and fissured bark.3