The swamp chestnut oak tree is a sturdy hardwood.
image by All images and illustrations by Daniel Ray
The swamp chestnut oak is a member of the beech family. This oak is also known as the "cow oak" because its acorns are sweet, and cows like them (see Reference 1). It is sometimes called the "basket oak" because the splintered wood was favored for making strong baskets (see Reference 1). Because of the large number of oaks, a field guide should be used to help identify this tree.
How to Identify Swamp Chestnut Oak Trees
Look for a large tree that is 60 to 80 feet tall with a dense, rounded crown. The leaves are 4 to 9 inches long and similar to a chestnut. Each leaf has 10 to 14 rounded teeth on each side.
Locating an acorn will help identify this tree. Each acorn is 1 to 1-1/4 inches long and egg-shaped. The deep, thick cup encloses one-third or more of the acorn.
Habitats include wet bottom lands and moist floodplains. Areas around streams are a preferred habitat.
Look for swamp chestnut oaks in the eastern United States. They range from north Florida to New Jersey and west to east Texas to south Illinois.