|Quercus velutina - Black Oak|
Q. Velutina grows 20–25 m (65–80 ft) in height and a diameter of 90 cm (35 in), some time it grows up to 42 m (140 ft). Black oak is well known to readily hybridize with other members of the red oak (Quercus sect. Lobatae) group of oaks being one parent in at least a dozen different named hybrids.
The black oak’s leaves are arranged alternately on the twig and are 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long with 5-7 bristle tipped lobes separated by deep U-shaped notches. The upper surface of the leaf is a shiny deep green; the lower is yellowish-brown. There are also satellite hairs on the underside of the leaf that grow in clumps. Black oak is monoecious. The staminate flowers develop from leaf axils of the previous year and the catkins emerge before or at the same time as the current leaves in spring. The pistil-late flowers are borne in the axils of the current year's leaves and may be solitary or occur in two- to many-flowered spikes.
|Quercus velutina - Black Oak Young Plant|
It is the forest cover type that designates pure stands of the species or those in which it makes up more than 50 percent of the stand basal area. In southern New England, black oak grows on cool, moist soils. Elsewhere it occurs on warm, moist soils. Black oak grows on all aspects and slope positions. It grows best in coves and on middle and lower slopes with northerly and easterly aspects. Wildfires seriously damage black oak trees by killing the cambium at the base of the trees. This creates an entry point for decay fungi. The end result is loss of volume because of heart rot. Trees up to pole size are easily killed by fire and severe fires may even kill saw timber. Many of the killed trees sprout and form a new stand. However, the economic loss may be large unless at least some of it can be salvaged.