Mexican white oak
Quercus polymorpha

Secondary Names:
netleaf white oak, Monterrey oak


Leaf Type: Semi-evergreen
Texas Native:
Firewise:
oak_mexican150.jpg
Tree Description:

A medium-sized oak to 40 feet tall and a trunk to 2 feet in diameter, with a broad, rounded crown.

Range/Site Description:

Naturally occurring only in one known U.S. population, near the Devil's River in Val Verde county, but more common in Mexico. Now planted widely as a landscape tree.

Leaf:

Simple, alternate, 2" to 5" long, highly variable, but often with several shallow lobes or teeth towards the tip. Leaves are thick, leathery, and semi-evergreen, with distinct raised veins on the yellowish underside. New leaves in spring are peach-colored and in colder climates the leaves are late-deciduous and turn yellow-brown.

Flower:

Male and female flowers borne in spring on the same tree, the male flowers on catkins up to 4" long, the female flowers less conspicuous.

Fruit:

An acorn, maturing in one year, up to 1" long and enclosed one-half by the acorn cup.

Bark:

Dark to light gray, developing scales and flaky plates, then shallow fissures on older trunks.

Wood:

Primarily used as a landscape tree in the nursery trade, and often sold as 'Monterrey oak.'

Similar Species:

Netleaf oak (Quercus rugosa) has similar venation on the undersides of leaves, but has obovate leaves and is restricted to high elevations in West Texas.

Interesting Facts:

Only recently discovered in the U.S. (1992) as a native tree species, but widely available in commercial nurseries.

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