Hybrid Quercus ID

poultryguy(5b)November 15, 2008

Having a hard time identifying some oaks in a hybrid swarm zone. For the last four years I've been looking for the parent Quercus macrocarpa and still can't find it, but, I'm finding plenty of seedlings. Odd enough as that is, I know that the majority of the white oaks on and surrounding my property directly are of a hybrid nature. Here's the problem, all variations aside, they look like Schuette's oak, a cross between Q. bicolor (swamp white) and Q. macrocarpa (bur oak). Today I found two things that make me second guess this cross as being the only parent responsible for the majority of the white oaks I'm looking at. #1 is the weird single trunked tree that's about 50'-60' tall with short side branches all the way up, like a columnar apple only reaching about 15' wide. This tree had huge bur-caps all around it, with internal measurements of over 1-1/8 inch in diameter! The leaves looked just like all the other "Schuette oaks" I've seen. #2 is an adjoining property, with a pure stand of post oaks, Q. stellata, that although are small in stature as they should be, have the exact growth form of the hybrid swarm. So I have two questions... could a stellata x macrocarpa look like bicolor x macrocarpa and does anyone have a photo of a verified stellata x macrocarpa. Yes, I fully realize that the hybrid swarm we have here could be the result of a three way cross, but stellata has such a drastic character difference from the other two it hardly seems plausible.

I'm including a photo of leaves and caps collected from several hybrids in the center of a small group. If you can't tell, the caps have heavy macrocarpa traits.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!


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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

Seeing how old this subject is, I'm guessing that most folks familiar with Quercus are reticent to try because of their great variabiliy. However, sticking my neck out, I would steer you toward an English (Q. robur) / bur hybrid. Check out Heritage® Oak if you can. One could almost wonder if Chestnut (Q. prinus) could be a parent. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 4:49PM
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