Northern Pin Oak vs. Pin Oak

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)October 19, 2009

Besides the slight nuiances, any reason to plant a Northern Pin Oak vs. a Pink Oak?

Only thing I can find is that the Northern Pin Oak is better suited for dry soils.

Honestly looking for the one that will exhibit a better habit/shape

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Their common names would certainly lead one to believe they're similar, but the differences may be more than slight. The closest I've been to being an oak expert is when I sat next to Guy Sternberg at a party, but I think NPO would be closer to Scarlet, Northern Red, and Black (Q. velutina) than Pin (Q. palustris). I'm sure others will quickly correct me if I'm wrong about this. One obvious and important distinction between NPO and PO is the former's tolerance of neutral soils. I'd think the one that looks best will be the one that is best suited to your site.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 11:15PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Yes, the NPO is a hyprid of Black and Red.

Found my answers. PO has the better habit/shape...I guess that is subjective if you like a more irregular shape.

I've eliminated the NPO due its susceptibility to Wilt....a problem in my area.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 10:26AM
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northern pin oak also is found in colder areas
such as zone 3b , both would be hardy in
zone 5b

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 11:01AM
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I believe pretty much all of the "red" oaks are susceptible to oak wilt and bacterial leaf scorch if it's in your area.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 1:35AM
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Oak wilt is a real problem, but primarily in a woodland setting where root grafts spread the disease from one tree to another. It can be nasty and I've had to remove many infected trees in the woods. However, I wouldn't let it keep me from planting red oaks. Its unlikely you'll have a problem if planted in an open area, prune appropriately, and avoid wounds.

This from the WI DNR website regarding OW spread:


Most oak wilt moves from diseased trees to healthy trees through roots that have become interconnected (root grafts). Most root grafts form between oaks of the same species; red oak roots graft more commonly than do white oak roots, and grafts between red and white oaks are very rare.


Some movement of oak wilt is overland via sap-feeding beetles. In the spring, fungal mats (small masses of Ceratocystis fagacearum) develop under the bark of some trees that have died from oak wilt the year before. These mats force the bark to crack open. The fungus produces a sweet odor that attracts sap-feeding beetles on the mats. The beetles then fly to healthier oaks to feed on sap flowing from fresh wounds, thus infecting healthy trees.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 10:01AM
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