Turkey Oak - Catesby Oak - Scrub Oak   
             
         Quercus leavis  Walter                       
Fagaceae (Beech) Family

Turkey Oak is a small tree, usually not more than 20 to 30 feet in height and a trunk up to about a foot in diameter, with an irregular and rather open crown. It is abundant on, and characteristic of, the poorer and drier sandy soils; and commonly occurs in the understory of pine forests.

The leaves are usually held in a vertical position. They are oblong to obovate, usually with 5 long, narrow, often curved, bristle-toothed and bristle-pointed lobes, 5 to 10 inches long and 4 to 6 inches wide. The upper surface is a lustrous yellowish-green; beneath they are paler and smooth except for tufts of rusty hairs in the axils of the principal veins.

The acorns are about 1 inch long, ovoid, brown, and woolly at the top; with top-shaped, large-scaled cups enclosing about half of the nut.

The Turkey Oak has no commercial importance but the wood is used locally as fuel and for rough construction. Foresters are prone to consider it a "weed" tree, and often refer to it by the uncomplimentary name of Scrub Oak. It is also known as Catesby Oak for Michaux named it in honor of Mark Catesby, one of America's earliest naturalists, as Quercus Catesbaei; but Walter's name has precedence.

The common name refers to the shape of the 3-lobed leaves suggesting a turkey's foot. The Latin species name, meaning "smooth" describes the nearly hairless leaves.

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