Emory oak
Quercus emoryi

Secondary Names:

Leaf Type: Evergreen
Texas Native:
Tree Description:

A small to medium-sized tree, usually less than 40 feet in height and a dark trunk to 20" in diameter, forming a rounded crown of glossy foliage; branches typically droop and the branchlets are reddish.

Range/Site Description:

Moist canyons and slopes above 4,000 feet in the Davis, Chinati, and Chisos mountain ranges of West Texas.


Simple, alternate, evergreen or mostly evergreen, 0.75" up to 3.5" long and 0.5" to 1.5" wide, narrowly elliptical, usually with several pointed teeth along the margin; thick, and very glossy green.


Male and female flowers borne separately in spring on the same tree; male catkins 1" to 2" long, yellowish-green, female flowers inconspicuous, usually solitary.


An acorn, requiring one season to mature, borne close to the branchlet, oblong, 0.5" long, with a dark brown or nearly black nut enclosed about one-third its length in a narrow cup, which is lined with dense gray fuzz or "tomentum.”


Very dark gray and smooth when young, but quickly becoming rough and black as branches and trunks mature. Older bark is thick, with deep, rough fissures.


Heavy, strong, somewhat brittle, close-grained, heartwood is dark brown and sapwood is light brown tinged with red. Used locally for fuelwood and posts.

Similar Species:

Sandpaper oak (Quercus pungens var. pungens) has small, rough leaves with wavy edges; Mexican blue oak (Q. oblongifolia) has bluish leaves and does not occur at the higher elevations where Emory oak is found. Other natural hybrids can be found in the Chisos and Davis mountains.

Interesting Facts:

The acorns are unusually sweet for an oak in the red oak group, and native peoples have used these acorns to make a coarse flour.

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