how many types of oaks are there????

ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5November 1, 2011

seriously.. at least one a week.. i find some reference to an oak i never heard of ...

is there any definitive answer???

ken

ps: cherry bark.. whats that all about..lol ...

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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Ken,
Wiki says about 600 species. Major problem is that they hybridize so freely, it gets hard to separate many of them, and in some cases as in Cherry Bark Oak, some consider it a valid species, others a subspecies. Similar to the circumstance with Sugar Maple. Big-Toothed Maple, Black Maple, Chalk, Sugar Maple, Southern Sugar Maple, and Black Maple are all closely related. Some consider them each a subspecies of Sugar Maple, other consider them separate and valid species. Such is the way of science, lots of argument, and everyone trying to prove THEY are right, until someone is accepted as being correct.

One thing to realize the classification into species is purely our own desire to categorize and manipulate everything. It's completely artificial, and nature could care less, not to mention that everything is in some amount of flux at all times. Plus there are undoubtedly more that science does not know about at this time.

This is probable more than you want to know, and I didn't even touch on the concept of "Super-Species" that is taking hold in some circles.

Arktrees

Here is a link that might be useful: Oaks

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 4:54PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Well, if you go by common names, there must be scads of them. Acorny answer, I know. ;-)

tj

P.S. Wiki says about 600 species.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 4:55PM
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j0nd03

Credit to esh_ga for sharing this with me in another topic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Native Oak list

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 5:19PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

>One thing to realize the classification into species is purely our own desire to
>categorize and manipulate everything. It's completely artificial, and nature
>could care less

I have to disagree with this statement. There are several "species" definitions about, and none of them are perfect for all organisms, but the concept of "species" is a useful and meaningful.

Categorizing bacteria at the level of species is especially problematic, but for plants and animals it is fairly straightforward in most cases, and reflects a natural reality: there are populations of organisms that breed among themselves and not with others. As it happens, oaks are notorious for hybridizing, and yet, they don't meld into one group where they overlap. So even though in many cases the reproductive isolation between species is not absolute, to say that the idea is completely artificial is an oversimplification in the other direction.

Alex

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 8:32PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

I believe the Cherrybark oak is pretty similar to the Southern Red Oak, but doesn't have much fall color.

Here is a link that might be useful: quercus falcata

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 8:34PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Not going to belabor the point with Alex, we will just have to disagree. A classification system is useful, and very much a man made creation. That is one of the first things they teach you in taxonomy classes. It's only an approximation of nature, in an attempt to understand nature, and does not truly reflect nature. Hence new concepts are still being created to understand nature.

In the end, the Oaks are what they are, and we are just trying to cope and understand.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 9:56PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I agree with Ark about the meaning of species, and especially when it comes to oaks. When we talk of species, we are only approximating reality.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 1:34AM
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dricha

Go to efloras.com Check out volume 3. All the oaks in the U.S. are listed there. The center for oak diversity is Mexico which has aroun 150 sp. In Asia, China has about the same as Mexico. They are still finding new species so you can only guess as to the exact number. Texas has about 53 species, the most in the U.S.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 12:39PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

wow that eflora's website is amazing. thanks for sharing. FYI it's efloras.org

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:44PM
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