Thirteen species of oak (Quercus) grace the lands of Canada. These deciduous trees produce acorns that squirrels, raccoons, geese and deer relish. They are primarily native to the southernmost reaches of the provinces that touch the United States.
The white oak, or eastern white oak (Quercus alba) is native to extreme southeastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec.
Swamp White Oak
With glossy, dark green leaves, swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) naturally grows in the wetland soils of southern Ontario and southwestern Quebec.
Northern Pin Oak
Found only in Ontario, primarily in a small area along the border with Minnesota, the northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) is also known as Hill's oak or Jack oak.
Victoria Island and the nearby hills surrounding Vancouver, British Columbia is the native range of Garry's oak (Quercus garryana var. garryana).
Whether on the prairies or in a dry woodland, burr oak (Quercus macrocarpa) is found in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. It is also called mossy-cup oak because its large acorns are protected by a frilly cap.
Chestnut oak (Quercus montana, synonym Quercus prinus) is an uncommon and threatened plant species of southern Ontario. People also name it rock chestnut oak or basket oak, since its wood is split and torn to make baskets.
Pin oak (Quercus palustris) perhaps has the smallest native Canadian land area, as it is found only around the shores of Lake Erie in southeastern Ontario.
This species, mostly found in the United States, is found in a small area of Ontario just north of Lake Erie. The chinkapin oak (Quercus muhlenbergii) is also called the yellow chinquapin oak or yellow chestnut oak.
Dwarf Chinkapin Oak
Yet another Ontario native, dwarf chinkapin oak (Quercus prinoides) is native between Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Sometimes it is referred to as the scrub chestnut oak.
Rarely called pendunculate oak, the English oak (Quercus robur) escaped cultivation and has established itself in the woodlands outside of Vancouver, British Columbia as well as across New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and central Nova Scotia.
Northern Red Oak
Native to a wide swath of southeastern Canada, northern red oak (Quercus rubra) is found naturally from Ontario's Lake of the Woods eastward all the way to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
In southernmost Ontario above Lake Erie you will also encounter the black oak (Quercus velutina).