- Classic Shade Tree
- Fast Growth Rate as Young Tree
- Small Green Lobed Leaves Turn Deep Red for Fall Color
- Leaves Drop Cleanly in Fall
- Hardy Native Tree
- Energetic Upright Pyramid Form
- Holds Lower Limbs Straight Out Without Drooping
- Requires Little Pruning or Maintenance
- Durable, Easy Care Trees Can Be Used in Commercial Settings
- Tolerates Wet Soil and Acidic Soil
The stately Nuttall Oak tree (Quercus nuttallii) is a native of bottom lands across a wide range. It grows really well in poor draining lowland soils. It is suited to heavy clay soil and prefers an acidic soil. Use this magnificent Oak if you have soil that struggles to shed water quickly.
When you’re thinking of a great shade tree for your landscape, the conversation has to start with Oak trees. These classics are tough, heat-tolerant, cold-tolerant, drought resistant, adaptable, strong-wooded and long-lived. They are also beautiful, and Nuttall Oak lives up to the reputation.
But this variety has some fantastic features. First, a nice, clean leaf drop. Instead of hanging on to its shaggy leaves most of the winter like other Oaks, it drops its leaves all at once in late fall.
You’ll also love the fall color display. The leaves turn a deep shade of red right after the neighborhood Maples have finished their show for the season.
It features a nice branch structure that includes plenty of head room under the lowest branches. You’ll have plenty of room for a picnic table or seating area underneath. Park a car under it if you want to use it as a street tree.
With a well-behaved root system, and brilliant crimson fall color, you’ll absolutely grow to love the tall Nuttall Oak. After all, how can you not love a sturdy, long-lived Oak tree that solves landscape problems in such a beautiful way?
Though easy to grow, Nuttall Oak does require an acidic soil of around 4.5 to 5.5 pH to do well. With no pest or disease problems, Nuttall Oak is almost maintenance free in the right location.
Nuttall Oak quickly grows into a large, pyramidal tree with a fast growth rate (for an Oak!), especially as a young tree. This tree is becoming more popular but is still hard to find.
How to Use Nuttall Oak in the Landscape
This is a great selection for plantings in newly constructed urban and suburban areas. Heavy machinery causes extensive soil compaction, which can make it hard to support other types of trees.
Nuttall is also a good choice for use as lawn trees. Whether it’s your suburban home, or commercial planting, Nuttall can handle the frequent irrigation required by turf. Use it to shade parking lot buffer strips and wide median strips, as long as they receive supplemental watering.
Once mature, it’s a heavy mast producer. Include Nuttall in your food forests to support wildlife and game on large properties.
It can also become a magnificent specimen in a planned Rain Garden. If you have a low area on your property, Rain Gardens can help filter water runoff from roofs and streets before it flows into the storm drains. Use these hard-working trees to protect your local watershed in a beautiful way.
Tips for Care
Nuttall Oak is not as drought tolerant as other varieties and will need occasional water to do well. Provide a layer of mulch to cover the top of the root system, but not resting against the trunk. Pull mulch away at least a few inches for proper air circulation.
Plant in full sun for best results.
The tree has a very uniform canopy and requires little or no pruning. Nuttall won’t develop surface roots and cause problems with your water lines.
Nuttall Oak should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a shade tree for a poorly drained yard with acidic soil. This native tree is highly recommended by universities, the forest service and municipalities.