Dwarf chestnut oak

Dwarf chestnut oak (Quercus prinoides)

Dwarf chestnut oak is one of two species of "scrub oak" commonly found in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. This multi-stemmed shrub can reach a height of over 15 feet but is usually found growing 1-10 feet tall in recently managed areas of the Preserve.  The common names for this shrub, "dwarf chestnut oak" and "dwarf chinquapin oak" refer to the shape of its leaves which resemble the scallop-edged leaves of the chestnut oak tree. Together with bear oak (the other species of scrub oak found in the Pine Bush) dwarf chestnut oak can form dense thickets. Look for its small acorns to ripen in late summer.


Habitat: This shrub grows well in dry soils, full sun and is tolerant of fire. It is typically found growing in prairies and barrens.


Cool facts:

  • Along with bear oak, the dwarf chestnut oak is a host plant for the rare inland barrens buckmoth
  • Its thick waxy leaves help slow the loss of water
  • Scrub oak create important nesting sites for shrubland birds

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