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Leaf variation among Nuttall oaks

Posted by mosquitogang201 none (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 9:46

The two trees in the picture were both labeled Nuttall oaks at the nursery but the leaves look quite a bit different from each other. The one on the right looks like the Nuttall descriptions online but the one on the left has fewer bristles, shallower lobes, and a lighter green color. The bark does look the same though. Is this normal genetic variation among Nuttalls? Or is it likely that one of them is mislabeled or a hybrid species?


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RE: Leaf variation among Nuttall oaks

Is one in a shadier spot?

Oaks often produce leaves in shade that are more shallowly lobed than in full sun. Also, seedling oaks often have leaves that look somewhat different than adult trees would.

Although the shape of the left side isn't "classic" Nuttall Oak, I have seen them look like that, and the reddish new growth is also typical of Nuttall (and others, to be fair, but esp. Nuttall).


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RE: Leaf variation among Nuttall oaks

What hairmetal said, the left one is that a baby? It could be a hybrid also, but, I would wait til it gets bigger.
I must admit the left one looks like Q. Rubra or Q. Velutina also. But I must admit oak leaves confuse me when the aren't exactly as the field guides depict.


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RE: Leaf variation among Nuttall oaks

The one on the left is actually older. It had been headed back several times in the nursery (to keep the size down I guess) so will take a bit of pruning to get back to a good leader. Not sure if it was kept in the shade or not but it is in full sun now so we can see if it looks different next spring.


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