Because of all the forests in North America, you can find just about every tree you can think of if you know where to look. Because the United States has so many terrain types and so many types of climates, you can find trees you love regardless of where they need to be to grow right. There is a great variety of oak trees in the US and Canada, these are 76 common types.
From ash to hickory and pine to spruce, North America is a place where just about anything grows, and the mighty oak figures prominently all throughout the continent. Oak trees have a regal look thanks to their stature and elegance, and their acorns are popular with all types of animals, as well as humans.
There is a total of 76 common oak tree types in North America, and they are described below, each with a high quality photo of its foliage. I sincerely hope you are able to identify the type of oak you are looking for.
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- Algerian Oak (quercus canariensis)
- Arizona White Oak (quercus arizonica)
- Bear Oak (quercus ilicifolia)
- Birnam Oak (quercus petraea)
- Blackjack Oak (quercus marilandica)
- Bluejack Oak (quercus incana)
- Bluff Oak (quercus austrina)
- Bowthorpe Oak (quercus robur)
- Bur Oak (quercus macrocarpa)
- California Black Oak (quercus kelloggii)
- Canyon Live Oak (quercus chrysolepis)
- Caucasian Oak (quercus macranthera)
- Chapman Oak (quercus chapmanii)
- Cherrybark Oak (quercus pagoda)
- Chestnut Oak (quercus michauxii)
- Chinkapin Oak (quercus muehlenbergii)
- Coast Live Oak (quercus agrifolia)
- Coastal Scrub Oak (quercus dumosa)
- Darlington Oak (quercus hemisphaerica)
- Delta Post Oak (quercus similis)
- Desert Scrub Oak (quercus turbinella)
- Dunn Oak (quercus dunnii)
- Durand Oak (quercus durandii)
- Dwarf Chinkapin Oak (quercus prinoides)
- Dwarf Live Oak (quercus minima)
- Eastern Black Oak (quercus velutina)
- Eastern White Oak (quercus alba)
- Emory Oak (quercus emoryi)
- Engelmann Oak (quercus engelmannii)
- Escarpment Live Oak (quercus fusiformis)
- Gambel Oak (quercus gambelii)
- Garry Oak (quercus garryana)
- Gray Oak (quercus grisea)
- Hartwiss Oak (quercus hartwissiana)
- Hill’s Oak (quercus ellipsoidalis)
- Holly Oak (quercus ilex)
- Huckleberry Oak (quercus vaccinifolia)
- Hungarian Oak (quercus frainetto)
- Hybrid Swamp White Oak (quercus x schuettei)
- Interior Live Oak (quercus wislizeni)
- Island Oak (quercus tomentella)
- Japanese Blue Oak (quercus glauca)
- Laurel Oak (quercus laurifolia)
- Leather Oak (quercus durata)
- Live Oak (quercus virginiana)
- Loquat Oak (quercus rysophylla)
- Maple Leaf Oak (quercus acerifolia)
- Mexican Blue Oak (quercus oblongifolia)
- Mongolian Oak (quercus mongolica)
- Myrtle Oak (quercus myrtifolia)
- Net Leaf Oak (quercus reticulata)
- Northern Red Oak (quercus rubra)
- Nuttall Oak (quercus texana)
- Overcup Oak (quercus lyrata)
- Pin Oak (quercus palustris)
- Portugese Oak (quercus lusitanica)
- Post Oak (quercus stellata)
- Pyrenean Oak (quercus pyrenaica)
- Rock Chestnut Oak (quercus montana)
- Running Oak (quercus pumila)
- Sand Live Oak (quercus geminata)
- Sand Post Oak (quercus margarettae)
- Sawtooth Oak (quercus acutissima)
- Scarlet Oak (quercus coccinea)
- Scrub Oak (quercus berberidifolia)
- Shingle Oak (quercus imbricaria)
- Shreve’s Oak (quercus parvula var. Shrevei)
- Silver Leaf Oak (quercus hypoleucoides)
- Southern Red Oak (quercus falcata)
- Swamp Post Oak (quercus lyrata)
- Swamp Red Oak (quercus shumardii)
- Swamp White Oak (quercus bicolor)
- Turkey Oak (quercus laevis)
- Water Oak (quercus nigra)
- Wavyleaf Oak (quercus undulata)
- Willow Oak (quercus phellos)
Algerian Oak (quercus canariensis)
The Algerian oak is also called a Mirbeck’s oak, and they get up to 98 feet high and up to five feet in diameter. The leaves are roughly six inches long and three inches wide, and the acorns grow to be about one inch in length and are housed in a shallow cup-like structure.
Arizona White Oak (quercus arizonica)
One of the largest oak trees in the southwest, the Arizona oak gets up to 60 feet high and up to three feet in diameter. The leaves are either bluish-green or yellow-green in color and are usually around 3.5 inches in length.
Bear Oak (quercus ilicifolia)
The bear oak is almost a shrub and not a tree because it only grows to around 20 feet in height at most. It provides food and shelter for many species of animals, and even though the acorns are a little bitter, they are still very popular with bears.
Birnam Oak (quercus petraea)
Also known as the Cornish or durmast oak, this oak tree grows 65 to 130 feet tall and is part of the white oak group. The leaves are roughly five inches long and three inches wide, and in addition to being a good fuel wood, it is also used to make both cabinets and veneers.
Blackjack Oak (quercus marilandica)
The blackjack oak is a small oak tree that rarely gets above 49 feet high, but it is nonetheless an easy tree to grow because it does well in most soils. This is a deciduous tree with leaves that get up to 5.5 inches long and up to three inches wide.
Bluejack Oak (quercus incana)
The bluejack oak grows to roughly 30 feet high or sometimes a little taller, making it a small oak tree in comparison to others. Its trunk is short and it has an irregular shape, which makes it useful only for a few things, such as fence posts and fuel.
Bluff Oak (quercus austrina)
Growing from 45 to 60 feet high, the bluff oak has narrow leaves and tends to do best in low-lying areas. This includes areas such as river bottoms and over shells, mafic rocks, and calcareous sediment, among others.
Bowthorpe Oak (quercus robur)
Also called the common oak, this oak tree can tolerate a lot of different soils but prefers those that are watered well. In fact, mature trees can even tolerate flooding and not be ruined. The tree can be found all over the world and is often planted in commercial forests.
Bur Oak (quercus macrocarpa)
Although the average size for a bur oak tree is 100 feet, some have been known to get up to 160 feet tall. The tree grows lovely greenish-yellow flowers in the spring and has leaves that get up to six inches long and up to five inches wide.
California Black Oak (quercus kelloggii)
Part of the red oak group, the California black oak tree can be as small as 30 feet high or as tall as 82 feet in height. In fact, some of these trees are known to surpass 115 feet. The wood of the tree is used to make construction timber, furniture, and pallets.
Canyon Live Oak (quercus chrysolepis)
Also called the golden cup oak, the tree is an evergreen that gets 20 to 100 feet high. Its bark can be either smooth or scaly and is usually light gray in color. Many people are also highly allergic to its pollen.
Caucasian Oak (quercus macranthera)
Also called the Persian oak, this oak tree is a deciduous species of trees that grow mostly in western Asia, including northern Iran and Turkey, as well as Armenia and Georgia in the Caucasus. In Europe, it is mostly used as a decorative or ornamental tree.
Chapman Oak (quercus chapmanii)
The Chapman oak rarely gets more than 20 feet in height, which makes it more of a shrub than a tree. It is found mostly in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, and the leaves sometimes have wavy lobes.
Cherrybark Oak (quercus pagoda)
The cherrybark oak tree grows in great form, and it grows quickly as well. Used in making furniture and flooring, as well as other products, the tree usually gets 100 to 130 feet high, making it a very impressive tree indeed.
Chestnut Oak (quercus michauxii)
A medium-sized tree that grows to roughly 65 feet high, the chestnut oak has beautiful leaves that get quite large – up to 11 inches long and seven inches wide. It has acorns that are somewhat sweet and is often used as a decorative or ornamental tree because of its beauty.
Chinkapin Oak (quercus muehlenbergii)
The chinkapin oak is always easy to grow because it can grow nearly anywhere, including sandy or rocky soils. The bark is flaky and gray, and the acorns have a sweet taste and are, therefore, popular with both animals and humans alike.
Coast Live Oak (quercus agrifolia)
Also known as the California oak tree, the coast live oak grows from 33 to 80 feet in height and is found mostly in California and Mexico. The leaves are a dark green color and can be three inches long and up to 1.5 inches wide. The wood is used mostly in landscaping.
Coastal Scrub Oak (quercus dumosa)
The coastal scrub oak is an evergreen shrub that grows to no more than 10 feet in height, usually less. Some people are allergic to the pollen from this tree, but the acorns are popular with animals such as jays and squirrels. It is also called the coastal sage scrub oak.
Darlington Oak (quercus hemisphaerica)
This oak tree can get up to 115 feet tall and has a trunk that can get as large as five feet in diameter. You often see these trees growing on hillsides, and the leaves get up to five inches long and 1.5 inches in width. The acorns take 18 months to fully mature.
Delta Post Oak (quercus similis)
Also called the bottomland post oak, its tall, straight trunk is quite an eye-catcher, as is its height of roughly 80 feet. The leaves are 4.5 inches long and three inches wide, and the acorns are produced either singly or in groups of three, growing to less than one inch in length.
Desert Scrub Oak (quercus turbinella)
Often called the gray oak, the desert scrub oak tree usually gets only to 16 feet in height or smaller, although occasionally it can reach heights of 20 feet. The leaves are thick and leathery but small, getting up to 1.2 inches long and .79 inches in width. They grow yellowish-green flowers in the spring.
Dunn Oak (quercus dunnii)
A small tree, the Dunn oak only gets 10 to 20 feet high and has stiff, leathery leaves. It is also called the Palmer oak and grows mostly in Baja California, New Mexico, and Arizona. The acorns have hairy caps and are usually one inch in length, which is average for acorns.
Durand Oak (quercus durandii)
The durand oak tree grows to roughly 65 feet in height and has very narrow leaves. Its favorite habitats tend to be areas such as river bottoms, over shells, or in flatwoods, and there is a variety of this tree that grows throughout the southeastern United States.
Dwarf Chinkapin Oak (quercus prinoides)
The dwarf chinkapin oak tree only gets to about 20 feet in height at the most. The leaves are two to six inches long and even the acorns are very small. The acorns are also sweet and, therefore, popular with both wildlife and humans, and the tree grows well even in rocky or sandy soils.
Dwarf Live Oak (quercus minima)
The dwarf live oak rarely gets above six to seven feet in height and the leaves get to roughly five feet long and are either toothless or have irregular teeth or lobes. Native to the southeastern part of the country, this tree is an evergreen or semi-evergreen.
Eastern Black Oak (quercus velutina)
Also called just the black oak, it is part of the red oak group and gets to about 80 feet high. It can grow in both warm and cool climates but does prefer moist soils, and its leaves get up to eight inches long and are an attractive shade of green.
Eastern White Oak (quercus alba)
The eastern white oak actually has bark that is light gray, not white, in color. The tree can grow to be 100 feet high and 100 feet in width, so it is a monster of a tree for sure. The wood is used to make whiskey barrels and musical instruments, and it is often used as a decorative tree as well.
Emory Oak (quercus emoryi)
The acorn of this tree is very sweet and, therefore, popular with all types of wildlife. Native Americans even ate the acorns and ground them into meal for cooking. The emory oak can grow anywhere from 16 feet to 56 feet in height, making it a small to medium-sized oak tree.
Engelmann Oak (quercus engelmannii)
Also called the Pasadena oak, this tree only gets to about 30 feet tall. The acorns are about one inch long, and the wood is of little use because even though it is strong, it tends to split and warp after it’s been dried.
Escarpment Live Oak (quercus fusiformis)
Also called the plateau live oak, the tree is an evergreen and part of the white oak group. It does best on dry soils and gets to no more than 75 inches in diameter. It has large acorns and the wood is the hardest of all the evergreen oaks.
Gambel Oak (quercus gambelii)
The gambel oak tree is also called a scrub oak or white oak and grows 10 to 30 feet high, so it isn’t a large oak tree. The leaves are 4.5 inches long and 2.5 inches wide and are a glossy dark green on the top part. The acorns mature in September and turn a golden brown color.
Garry Oak (quercus garryana)
Also called the Oregon oak, the Garry oak tree has three different varieties and is only native to northern Oregon, Washington State, and British Columbia. Its wood is hard and comes in a variety of colors, from dark-brown to almost white, but it is prone to cracking and warping and is, therefore, seldom used commercially.
Gray Oak (quercus grisea)
Found mostly in the mountainous regions of the southwest, it rarely grows more than 65 feet tall, and the trunk is usually around two feet in diameter. It is commonly found in higher elevations up to 9,000 feet and does well in semi-arid conditions.
Hartwiss Oak (quercus hartwissiana)
The Hartwiss oak tree gets to roughly 115 feet high and has leaves that are dark green on top and a light brown underneath. The tree is always found in forests with various types of trees, and it prefers moist, warm climates.
Hill’s Oak (quercus ellipsoidalis)
A medium-sized deciduous tree, the Hill’s oak gets to 65 feet in height. It produces beautiful red leaves in the fall and the wood is used for fence posts and fuel. It is also an attractive tree that is often used as a decorative or ornamental tree.
Holly Oak (quercus ilex)
The holly oak gets to about 90 feet high and consists of two subspecies. The leaves get a glossy green on top and are usually a beige or gray color underneath. It is often used as tall hedges or coastal windbreaks, and it is very attractive.
Huckleberry Oak (quercus vaccinifolia)
The acorn of the huckleberry oak tree is usually very bitter, and the tree itself is really more of a shrub because it rarely gets past five feet in height. It is native to the western United States and grows in high mountain forests.
Hungarian Oak (quercus frainetto)
Also called the Italian oak, the tree is large and gets to 125 feet in height. Even the leaves are large, getting up to 10 inches long. The light-brown acorns mature in about six months and form in groups of two to eight.
Hybrid Swamp White Oak (quercus x schuettei)
With bright green leaves and a height of up to 70 feet, this is a very attractive oak tree that prefers wet soils and full sun. It is a combination of the bur oak (quercus macrocarpa) and the swamp white oak (quercus bicolor).
Interior Live Oak (quercus wislizeni)
This is an evergreen oak that can get up to 72 feet high. The leaves are dark green and small, and the one-inch-long acorns usually mature about 18 months after pollination.
Island Oak (quercus tomentella)
The island oak gets to roughly 65 feet high and has acorns that develop either singly or in pairs. The leaves are thick and hairy and usually grow to around four inches long. The acorn is slightly larger than many others at nearly 1.5 inches.
Japanese Blue Oak (quercus glauca)
This is a small to medium-sized evergreen that grows to 65 feet in height. They have glossy green leaves with a blue-green color underneath, making them very attractive and eye-catching.
Laurel Oak (quercus laurifolia)
The laurel oak grows 65 to 80 feet high and has leaves up to five inches long. The tree produces an abundance of acorns, making this a very popular tree with both animals and humans alike.
Leather Oak (quercus durata)
Endemic to California, the leather oak tree rarely grows past 10 feet in height and usually is much smaller than that. It is most often used as a medicinal plant and as an urban tree.
Live Oak (quercus virginiana)
Because it is so common in the south, the tree is often called the southern live oak. It is called “live” because it doesn’t become dormant in the winter time, and it is sometimes called the California scrub oak.
Loquat Oak (quercus rysophylla)
Part of the red oak group, the loquat oak is a Mexican species of oak that can grow up to 80 feet tall. Some of the most common places to find it include humid canyons, north-facing slopes, and oak-pine woods.
Maple Leaf Oak (quercus acerifolia)
With leaves that look a lot like maple leaves, hence its name, the maple leaf oak grows to 50 feet high at the most, so it is not a huge oak tree. They are endemic to Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains.
Mexican Blue Oak (quercus oblongifolia)
The Mexican blue oak is part of the white oak group and is considered a small evergreen tree or a large shrub, depending on its size. They usually get no more than around 25 feet tall and have small leaves that are bluish-green in color.
Mongolian Oak (quercus mongolica)
Mongolian oak trees are native to countries such as Mongolia, Japan, and China, and they get up to nearly 100 feet in height.
Myrtle Oak (quercus myrtifolia)
The myrtle oak is not a tall tree and only grows to around 40 feet tall. If it is grown in dry climates it is often much smaller. It is frequently found in coastal areas and sandy soils.
Net Leaf Oak (quercus reticulata)
Commonly seen in the southwestern part of the United States, the net leaf oak tree can be either an evergreen shrub or tree. It has thick leathery leaves that are dark green in color. The bark of the tree is brown and very scaly, and the leaves look a little like those of the pin oak or Georgia oak tree.
Northern Red Oak (quercus rubra)
This is a large tree that can get up to 90 feet high and three feet in diameter. The acorns mature in 18 months and get to a beautiful chestnut-brown color. They form singly or in pairs. The leaves are very attractive and get up to nine inches long and up to six inches wide.
Nuttall Oak (quercus texana)
Although the nuttall oak tree can get up to 80 feet tall, it often grows even bigger, making this a very stately looking tree. The leaves turn a beautiful shade of red in the fall. The bark is dark-brown in color and the tree does well in damp soils, which is why it does so well in the southeastern part of the country.
Overcup Oak (quercus lyrata)
A medium-sized tree that grows to about 65 feet high, the overcup oak has beautiful dark-green leaves and grows frequently in the eastern and south-central parts of the United States.
Pin Oak (quercus palustris)
The pin oak grows to 70 feet high and has a trunk that can get up to three feet in diameter. The wood is often used by landscaping companies, and the tree is used as an ornamental or decorative tree.
Portugese Oak (quercus lusitanica)
Also called the gall oak, this tree is native to Morocco, Portugal, and Spain. The nutgalls of the tree are used for dyeing purposes.
Post Oak (quercus stellata)
Post oak trees are part of the white oak group and are easy to grow because they grow in a variety of soil conditions. They usually get up to about 50 feet in height, although they occasionally get much taller.
Pyrenean Oak (quercus pyrenaica)
Native to parts of Africa and Europe, the pyrenean oak tree gets to around 65 feet high and is usually only a shrub or very small tree when the soil is poor. The leaves are brown and remain on the tree all year long.
Rock Chestnut Oak (quercus montana)
Part of the white oak group, the rock chestnut oak has bark with massive ridges and a very dark color. The leaves are eight inches long and four inches wide and are a white color underneath.
Running Oak (quercus pumila)
Also called the runner oak, this tree is native to the southeastern part of the country and normally only grows to 39 inches tall, making it more of a shrub than a tree. The bark is a very noticeable dark-brown or black color.
Sand Live Oak (quercus geminata)
With very thick bark and thick leathery leaves, the sand live oak does especially well in the south because it prefers warm and humid climates. The leaves grow up to four inches long and have reddish-brown hairs underneath.
Sand Post Oak (quercus margarettae)
Also called the dwarf post oak, it is part of the beech family and gets to around 40 feet in height. It is native to the southeastern and south-central parts of the United States. It even does well in soils that are sandy or filled with gravel.
Sawtooth Oak (quercus acutissima)
This is an Asian species that looks a lot like the turkey oak tree. It is a deciduous tree that grows from 82 feet to 98 feet in height and has leaves with small tooth-like lobes on them, hence the name.
Scarlet Oak (quercus coccinea)
With a height of 65 to 100 feet, the scarlet oak is impressive but is still considered a medium-sized oak tree. The leaves are attractive and get to seven inches long and five inches wide.
Scrub Oak (quercus berberidifolia)
The scrub oak tree is native to the scrubby hills of California and is actually a shrub because it only grows to around 6.5 feet, although it occasionally will get to around 13 feet. The leaves are dull green, leathery, and toothed, and the acorns are usually either pointed or egg-shaped.
Shingle Oak (quercus imbricaria)
This type of oak is typically used for making shingles, hence the name, and the tree can get to 67 feet tall and up to 40 inches in diameter. It has leaves shaped like laurel leaves and which are bright green on top and a little lighter on the bottom of the leaves.
Shreve’s Oak (quercus parvula var. Shrevei)
The Shreve’s oak tree is shade- and low-water-tolerant and does best when grown in elevations from 165 feet to 3085 feet. Its bloom period is from April to June and it does best when planted in USDA growing zones 9b to 10a. It also has beautiful brownish-green acorns.
Silver Leaf Oak (quercus hypoleucoides)
Also called the white leaf oak, this tree can be either a large shrub or a small tree, growing to about 30 feet in height. The leaves are two to four inches long and the small acorns mature in the early fall months.
Southern Red Oak (quercus falcata)
Also called the Spanish oak tree, this tree grows well in numerous soil conditions and usually grows to around 100 feet high. The acorns mature at the end of the second season and are a beautiful orange-brown color, growing to roughly 3/4 inch in size.
Swamp Post Oak (quercus lyrata)
The swamp post oak is native to the south-central and eastern parts of the country and has leaves that are up to six inches long and four inches wide. They are also a beautiful shade of green, making this a very eye-catching tree indeed. The tree gets to roughly 65 feet high in most cases.
Swamp Red Oak (quercus shumardii)
Also called the Shumard oak, this tree can grow to be 115 feet in height, and it is frequently known to grow much taller in parts of the south. Its leaves are a beautiful shade of green and are quite large, making this tree a very noticeable one indeed.
Swamp White Oak (quercus bicolor)
The wood from this tree is easy to transport and is, therefore, used in various landscaping and construction projects. The tree grows 60 to 80 feet high, but one such tree got to be over 95 feet in height. That same tree was found to be around 285 years old. The leaves get up to seven inches long and four inches wide and can turn red or yellowish-brown in the fall.
Turkey Oak (quercus laevis)
Part of the red oak group, the turkey oak tree gets only 26 to 33 feet high, making it a rather small tree for an oak. The leaves vary in size and have three to seven slender lobes, and they turn a beautiful shade of red in the fall. The acorns take roughly 18 months to mature and the tree itself can grow well even in most poor soils, making it an easy-to-grow tree.
Water Oak (quercus nigra)
Native to the eastern and south-central parts of the United States, the water oak tree can grow up to 100 feet high and have a trunk diameter of three feet. The acorns take about 18 months to mature and typically grow alone or in pairs. The leaves are true eye-catchers with a gorgeous bluish-green color on top and underneath.
Wavyleaf Oak (quercus undulata)
Usually only getting to around 10 feet high, the wavyleaf oak is considered a small oak tree or large shrub. They grow best in USDA growing zones 1 through 5, and they are found in states such as Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma, as well as northern Mexico. The leaves are either oblong or elliptical and have a wavy look to them, hence the name.
Willow Oak (quercus phellos)
The willow oak tree can get anywhere from 65 feet to 100 feet in height. Because the wood of the tree grows quickly and gets very hard, it is often used for various landscaping jobs in public areas, including malls and public parks and gardens. The leaves are a beautiful shade of green, being a little darker on top than they are underneath.