Monday, August 2, 2010

Lithocarpus - Tanoak

Lithocarpus

Related to the Oak but evergreen and with erect rather than weeping flower spikes - this group of trees growing wild in eastern Asia and the west coast of the U.S has alot of value in the landscape and is much hardier on the east coast than many might expect.
Preferring fertile, neutral to acidic, well drained soil in full sun or partial shade;
they are very drought tolerant but are not salt tolerant and in colder climates prefer to be protected from cold drying winds. The Tan Oaks are not generally bothered by pests or disease. Propagation is from seed which is sown in autumn.



Lithocarpus cleistocarpus ( Closed Cup Tanoak )
A very attractive, columnar, medium-sized, evergreen tree, that is native to w Hupeh and Szechuan Province in China. It is fast growing ( to 23 feet in 10 years ) and can reach an eventual size of 80 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter up to 3.5 feet.
The drooping leaves, up to 12 x 4 inches in size, are blue-green all year. The leaves persist 4 or 5 years making for a very dense canopy.
Hardy north into zone 7a. Very easy to grow in both the southeast U.S. and Pacific Northwest. It thrives in sun or shade on just about any well drained soil. Drought tolerant but being that it begins new growth early in spring, it may be damaged by late spring frosts where they may occur.

* photo taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Lithocarpus dealbatus
A medium-sized, evergreen tree reaching up to 100 ( rarely over 65 ) feet tall with a trunk diameter of 3.3 feet, that is native to southeastern Asia ( from Bhutan to southwestern China; south to northeast Burma to Vietnam ). Some records include: 13 years - 21 feet.
The ovate leaves are up to 5.5 x 2 inches in size. The attractive foliage is reddish at first, turning to bright green then finally to deep green.
The flowers are borne on panicles up to 8 inches in length, during early autumn.
Hardy zones 9 to 10 ( est ) however may not be suitable for hot humid lowland tropical climates such as Florida.

Lithocarpus densiflorus ( Tanbark Oak )
Also called Notholithocarpus densiflorus. A very large, evergreen tree reaching 100 feet or more, that is native to the west coast of the U.S.from Oregon to central California. Some records include: 5 years - 8 feet; 20 years - 44 x 40 feet; largest on record - 210 x 73 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 feet. A very tall tree when grown in the forest; open grown trees are shorter and may be branched to the ground unless pruned. A few trees are known to grow in the British Isles, a sizeable one grows at the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens in Scotland.
The prominently veined, stiff, leathery, toothed leaves are up to 8 x 3 inches in size. They are rusty hairy beneath at first turning to gray-green above and whitish beneath. There is a very attractive cutleaf form of Tanbark Oak that is equally fast growing and can be grown from cuttings.
The very small, whitish male flowers are held in slender, erect spikes, up to 5 inches in length, during mid-summer.
The small, oval fruits are up to an inch in length. The acorns of this tree were a staple food of some native North American Indian tribes and are among the best tasting of all acorns.
The yellowish twigs are densely fuzzy.
The bark is red-brown, thick and furrowed.
It grows best in Mediterranean climates and actually dislikes summer moisture though requires a winter wet season and a yearly annual precip over 40 inches. Despite all that, there are reports of it doing well along the eastern Seabord. The Tanbark Oak thrives in sun or partial shade and can get some leaf burn at 5 F and severe dieback under 0 F.

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by R.S. Bacon @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historical archive photos

* photo taken by Albert Everett Wieslander & Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library

* photo taken by Joseph O'Brien @ USDA Forest Service

* excellent video found on youtube


Lithocarpus echinoides ( Shrub Tanoak )
Also called Notholithocarpus densiflorus var. echinoides. Very closely related to Lithocarpus densifolius and is sometimes considered a dwarf form of it. Usually small and scrubby; very old plants on ideal sites are much larger though still shrubs. The largest on record is 10 x 40 feet. It is native to the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon, south to Mariposa County in California. It makes a great screen or hedge.
The toothed, oblong leaves, up to 2.8 x 1.2 inches in size, are fuzzy pink at first, turning to mid blue-green above, fuzzy white beneath.
The very attractive, creamy-white flower catkins appear during mid-summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun to partial shade, requiring a mediterranean climate with little or no summer water. It is considered deer resistant.

Lithocarpus edulis ( Nakai Tanoak )
A large tree to 70 feet or more that is native to China. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 2 feet; largest on record - 180 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 10 feet; largest in Georgia - 40 x 56 x 1.4 feet.
The Nakai Tanoak is an excellent windbreak and shade tree.
The leaves are up to 9 x 3 inches in size and are very glossy, very dark green above and gray green beneath. They are narrow elliptic, leathery and prominently veined.
The very small, creamy white flowers are borne in axilliary, slender, upright catkins up to an inch in length in late summer.
The fruits are pointed acorns up to an inch in length that take 2 years to ripen.
The blue-gray bark is smooth.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 and though extremely rare, it really does thrive in the Mid Atlantic and southeast U.S.

Lithocarpus glaber
A dense, spreading, medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 65 x 75 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.2 feet. It is native to eastern China as well as central and southern Japan. Some records include: largest in North Carolina - 20 feet.
The tough, leathery leaves, up to 6 x 2.2 inches in size, are smooth glossy deep green above, white downy beneath. The leaves sometimes have a few marginal teeth near the apex.
The creamy-white flowers are borne on showy panicles up to 6 inches in length, during late summer.
The young shoots are downy.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.

Lithocarpus hancei ( Hance's Tanoak )
A spreading, medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum height of 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot, that is native to southern China. It grows at a moderate rate, reaching up to 9 feet in 5 years.
The ovate to elliptic leaves are up to 4 x 2 inches, are deep red at first, turning to glossy bright green.
The flowers are borne on a panicle, up to 4 inches in length, during mid-summer.
They are followed by a rounded nut, up to 0.8 x 1 inch in size.
Hardy zones 8 to 10.

Lithocarpus henryi ( Henry Tanoak )
A very beautiful, moderate growing, long-lived, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 80 x 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.2 feet, that is native to southern China. Some record include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet.
The leathery, heavily-veined, lance-shaped leaves, up to 13 x 3 inches in size, are glossy deep green above, whitish beneath. The bold leaves are very attractive and tropical looking.
The tiny creamy white flowers are borne on branched, upright panicles, up to 8 inches in length, during late summer.
They are followed by rounded acorns, up to 0.65 inches long, that are borne on dense clusters.
The bark is gray with lighter grey lenticels and shallow orange brown fissures at the base.
Hardy zones 6b to 9, it thrives in the hot humid Mid-Atlantic & southeastern U.S. where it should be much more commonly grown. It is reported to have been grown as far north as Boston where it resprouted after getting killed to the base during an exceptionally severe winter. Hardiness may vary depending upon seed source.

* photo taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on 4th of July @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.



* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


Lithocarpus kawakamii ( Kawakamii Tanoak )
A medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum height of 72 feet with a trunk diameter pf 28 inches, that is native to mountains of Taiwan. Some records include: 14 years - 17 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 inches.
The deeply-veined, thinly-leathery, oblong leaves, up to 10 x 4 inches in size, are bright green.
The flowers are borne on panicles up to 8 inches in length, during summer.
They are followed by acorns up to 1 x 0.7 inches in size.
Hardy zone 9 ( est ).

Lithocarpus magalophyllus
Also called Quercus mairei. A medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 82 feet, that is native to southeast China and northeast Vietnam.
The thick, leathery, obovate leaves, up to 12 x 5 inches in size, are deep green.
The flowers are borne on panicles, up to 5.5 inches in length, during early summer.
They are followed by an acorn, up to 1.1 x 1 inch in size.
Hardy zone 9 ( est )

Lithocarpus pachyphyllus
A tall tree, reaching a maximum height of 120 ( rarely over 80 ) feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet, that is native to the eastern Himalayas ( from Nepal to Bhutan to Yunnan Province in China; south to northeast Burma ). Some records include: 20 years - 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 inches; largest on England - 60 feet.
The thick leathery, elliptic leaves, up to 9 x 3 inches, are glossy deep green above; silvery beneath.
The creamy-white flowers are borne on branched panicles up to 6 inches in length, during early summer.
Hardy zone 9 to 10 ( est ).

Lithocarpus variolosus ( Varied Leaf Tanoak )
A rare tree native to the Subalpine zone in the mountains of southwest Sichuan and northwest Yunnan, China and nearby parts of Vietnam.
It grows pyramidal in habit with horizontal side branches and reaches up to 66 x 30 feet at maturity.
The long lived, evergreen, broadly-ovate leaves are typically up to 6 x 2 inches though are sometimes as much as 9.5 x 3 inches in size.
Hardy north to zone 7, it thrives in sun or shade, alkaline or acidic soil but likely prefers the Pacific Northwest over the hot humid southeast. It begins new growth early in spring and may be damaged by late spring frosts where they may occur.
Propagation is from seed and semiripe wood cuttings.

RELATED TREES

CASTANOPSIS

Castanopsis chinensis
A medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching up to 66 feet in height, that is native to southern China & Taiwan.
The toothed, lance-shaped leaves are up to 7 x 2 inches in size.
The flowers are borne on clusters up to 6 inches in length, during early summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 10.

Castanopsis cuspidata ( Japanese Chinkapin )
A dominant, large, evergreen forest tree of eastern Asia from southeastern China, south Korea & Japan. Its timber is used in the construction of homes.
It is a fast growing tree to 80 feet. The largest on record is 150 x 80 feet with reported trunk diameters of 20 feet in the past. The Japanese Chinkapin can live up to 1300 years of age.
The narrow, pointed, leathery leaves are up to 6 x 3 inches in size. They are coppery when young maturing to green above, nearly white below. The margins can be either smooth or slightly toothed.
In late spring, the yellow green flowers are borne in catkins up to 3 inches long.
They are later followed by edible nuts.
The deeply-fissured bark is blackish-gray.
Hardy zones 6 to 9. As with most of the Castanopsis; Japanese Chinkapin prefers warm, humid summers and mild winters. They prefer heavy summer rainfall and a light, well drained, moist, fertile soil. Pruning is generally done in early spring but is restricted to training young trees to shape and the occasional rare maintenance. Can be propagated from seed or half hardened cuttings.

* excellent video found on youtube


Castanopsis delavayi ( Delavay's Chinkapin )
A fast growing, rounded, evergreen tree, native to southwestern China. It can reach up to 17 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet in only 6 years, with an eventual maximum size of 66 x 50 feet.
The obovate or elliptical leaves, up to 5 x 2.8 inches in size, are mid-green above, silvery-gray below.
The yellow flowers are borne on narrow, upright spikes during late spring.
They are followed by rounded nuts, up to 0.6 inches wide.
Hardy zones 7 to 10 in full sun to partial shade on deep, acidic, fertile, well drained soil. It requires hot summers and does not grow well in cool maritime climates.

Castanopsis fargesii ( Farge's Chinkapin )
A large evergreen tree, reaching up to 117 feet in height, that is a widespread native to southern China. Some records include: largest on record - trunk diameter of 4 feet.
The narrowly-oblong leaves are up to 6 x 2 inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green.

Castanopsis kawakamii
A very large, evergreen tree, reaching up to 90 feet in height and 3 feet in trunk diameter. It is native to subtropical deciduous hardwood forests of coastal southeast China, Taiwan and Vietnam. It is endangered in the wild due to forest loss and overharvesting of its valuable timber.
The leathery, ovate leaves, up to 5 x 2 inches in size, are deep reddish-brown at first, turning glossy mid-green.
The flowers are borne on panicles up to 4 inches in length.
The fruits resemble that of Castanea dentata.
The light grayish-brown bark peels off in large flakes.
Hardy zones 9 to 10, it may thrive along the U.S. Gulf Coast and in Florida.

Castanopsis orthacantha
A medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching up to 70 feet with a trunk diameter up to 20 inches, that is native to southwest China. It is known to reach up to 50 feet in England and is worthy of experimentation in the U.S.
The leathery, ovate leaves are up to 5.5 x 2 inches in size.
The flowers are borne on panicles during late spring.
Hardy zones 8 to 9.

Castanopsis sclerophylla ( Chinese Tanoak )
Also called Lithocarpus chinensis. A fast growing, medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 66 x 55 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet, that is native to southeastern China. It can reach up to 17 feet in 10 years, 40 feet in 20 years.
The leathery, toothed, elliptic or oblong leaves, up to 6 x 2.3 inches in size, are glossy deep green above, silvery-gray beneath.
The creamy-white flowers are borne on panicles, up to 6 inches in length, during late spring.
Hardy zones 7 to 9, thriving in the southeastern U.S.

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


CHRYSOLEPIS
A genus of 2 trees closely related to Lithocarpus, both which are native to the western U.S.

Chrysolepis chrysophylla ( Golden Chinquapin )
Also called Castanopsis chrysophylla. A moderate growing, dense-crowned, conical, large evergreen tree reaching over 80 feet that is native to forests of the west coast of the U.S. ( from coastal Washington to central California ). Some records include: largest on record - 150 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 feet; longest lived - 500 years. The Golden Chinkapin can live up to 500 years.
The leathery, pointed oval leaves, up to 6 x 2 inches in size, are glossy deep green above, golden-yellow beneath. The smooth-edged leaf margins are often curled.
The creamy white flowers are in upright catkins, up to 2.5 inches in length, during summer.
They are followed by clusters of edible red-brown nuts that are encased. The fruits resembles that of Castanea dentata.
The bark on young trees is smooth however on older trees becomes red-brown and plated.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in sun or partial shade on just about any well drained soil. It does not grow in eastern North Americas hot humid summers. Unfortunately prone to Chestnut Blight. Propagation is from sowing fresh seed which does germinate better if scarified.
While it does not grow in the eastern U.S., large trees already occur in parts of the British Isles where it has been planted.

* photo taken by http://www.nwplants.com

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historical archive photo


Chrysolepis sempervirens ( Bush Chinquapin )
Similar to Golden Chinquapin except in miniature, rarely reaching over 10 feet. Some records include: 15 years - 10 x 10 ( rarely over 6 ) feet; largest on record - 17 x 20 feet. It makes a great medium-sized, rounded, evergreen landscape shrub.
The thick, leathery, oblong leaves are also much smaller, only to 3 inches. The attractive foliage is gray-green above, rusty gold beneath.
Hardy zones 3 to 7. It is an alpine plant that likes full sun and sandy soil and is difficult to grow in cultivation. It requires a climate with moist winters, little or no summer rainfall and should be sown on site as its deep taproot makes transplanting success unlikely.

* photos taken by Albert Everett Wieslander and the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library
.

1 comment:

  1. In Northern California, Lithocarpus densiflorus, unfortunately, has been decimated by the Sudden Oak Death pathogen.

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