Brazos Bend State Park
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Gator Hatch

Twelve Trees of Brazos Bend State Park

Swamp Chestnut Oak

Quercus michauxii

DECIDIOUS--Will attain a height of 100 feet.

LEAVES: Simple, alternate, lustrous green above, paler and hairy underneath. Rounded at base, 4-8” long, 1-1/2 -4” wide. Edges of leaf are toothed with teeth rounded.

BARK: Pale gray, broken into shaggy strips- reddish beneath.

FLOWERS: Appear in April-May. Male staminate catkins are slender, green, hairy, 3-4 “ long. Female flowers are reddish and appear as single spikes.

FRUIT: Ripens Sept.-Oct. Single or paired, acorns are 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long, shiny brown, set 1/3-1/2 of their length in the thick bowl shaped cup.

Grows in moist soils of the coastal plain or the floodplain.

This tree is also known as the Cow Oak since cows like to eat the acorns. Some refer to it as the Basket Oak. Long thin strips of wood split from this tree are used to make baskets. Acorns are good food for wild life such as the mourning dove, wild turkey and deer.

The wood is used for barrels, construction, flooring and tools.

Two young trees are planted down the slope from the Nature Center near the slough.

Updated: Aug 12, 2011