Why plant Audubon® Native Blackjack Oak Treeling?
You can bet on Blackjack Oak to be a hit with your backyard birds! This small to medium-sized shade tree (much smaller than other Oaks) has much to offer your avian friends. Its dense, twiggy canopy provides a safe space for songbirds to nest in. The tree also holds on to its dry leaves in winter, giving birds protection while roosting during the dormant season. Most importantly Blackjack Oak serves up a buffet of nutritious insects to hungry birds. Caterpillars, especially, are critical to many birds’ diets, and Blackjack Oak has these in spades. Jackpot!
Blackjack Oak is a fighter, a scrappy little tree that toughs it out in the worst situations. It grows on the poorest, driest, rockiest, sandiest sites over much of the eastern U.S., in a range that stretches from New Jersey to North Florida and west to Kansas and Texas. In these challenging sites, it will often grow no taller than 20 feet! When given some love, it develops into a taller, more symmetrical, more graceful specimen, though growth is still quite slow. Because of its pokey growth, very few nurseries are willing to take the time to produce it. We are so happy to be able to offer it!
How to use Audubon® Native Blackjack Oak Treeling in the landscape?
Many Oaks don’t offer much in the way of fall color, but Blackjack Oak is generally pretty colorful. Most trees develop nice amber-gold, orange, or rusty-red tones when the days get chilly. It is colorful in spring, too, when the new leaves emerge with a pink cast.
Hardiness Zone: 6-9
How To Plant Audubon® Native Blackjack Oak Treeling
Plant your Blackjack Oak in an area that will receive full sun—this tree does not like shade at all. It also struggles in alkaline soils, and the leaves will become chlorotic (yellow) there. Choose this tree only if your soil is naturally acidic. Good drainage is important as well. If your soil stays soggy after a rain, you should select another type of Oak, such as Swamp White Oak or Overcup Oak. Little pruning will be necessary, but if you must prune, do so only between December and February. The fungal disease Oak Wilt can strike when Oaks are pruned during active growth.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.