Chisos red oak
Quercus gravesii

Secondary Names:
Graves oak

Leaf Type: Deciduous
Texas Native:
Tree Description:

A stout, medium-sized tree to 40 feet tall and one or more trunks to 20" in diameter, with a rounded crown of glossy foliage.

Range/Site Description:

Occurs in the Glass, Davis, and Chisos mountains of West Texas, generally on north-facing slopes above 5,000 feet in elevation. Also occurs at lower elevations in Val Verde county, in shaded canyons near the mouth of the Pecos River.


Simple, alternate, 3" to 5" long and 2" to 3.5" wide, with 3 to 7 bristle-tipped lobes, glossy above and paler below. Leaves turn reliably gold-brown in late autumn.


Separate male and female flowers on the same tree. Male flowers borne on a catkin about 4" long; inconspicuous female flowers borne on a peduncle up to 0.5" long.


An acorn, requiring two years to mature, about 0.5" long and almost as wide, rounded at tip, enclosed one-third to one-half by the cup.


Dark gray to black, rough, with some flat ridges and fissures on older trunks.


Used for firewood and sometimes available in West Texas in the nursery trade.

Similar Species:

Considered the westernmost form of the Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii) complex that included Texas red oak (Q. buckleyi). More prevalent in the Chisos mountains than Chisos oak (Q. graciliformis), which has narrower leaves.

Interesting Facts:

Edible acorns were ground into flour by native peoples.

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