Pin Oaks and Flooding  

TOPIC: St. Louis Flooding

== 1 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Mar 22 2008 5:42 am
From: Beth


This past Monday-Wedensday the St. Louis area recieved about 1-2 foot
of rain so as you can imagine now we are dealing with floods. It
really isn't the Mississippi, Illinois, or Missouri Rivers but the
smaller rivers such as the Meramec, Big, and Kaskakia Rivers. The
crests, which are predited to be the highest recorded, on these
smaller rivers should enter the Mississippi by Tuesday. My weather
spotting class was canceled due to the flooding. It was going to held
at a local high school but the road leading to it is flooded.

As I was driving to and from Oakdale, IL Thursday I saw many low
bottom grounds that were flooded and noticed for the first time that
many of trees in these areas were pin oaks. Now why I never noticed
that before I don't know. I am surprised that there wasn't that many
sycamores and river birchs in these areas.


== 2 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Mar 22 2008 6:08 am
From: Lee Frelich


Best of luck with the floods. We had a foot of snow yesterday and I am
waiting for the ice on the freeway to melt so I can drive to my brothers
house for Easter--and hope to leave in an hour or two.

Regarding southern pin oak (Quercus palustris), its a well known flood
plain tree. Thats one reason why it is planted in the city so much, because
roots of flood tolerant trees can tolerate the low oxygen levels in soils
underneath pavement.

Its a different story for northern pin oak (Q. ellipsoidalis), which grows
on dry sand plains in WI, MI and MN. It can't tolerate any flooding at all.
Some taxonomists consider it to be a variety of Scarlet oak, rather than a
relative of southern pin oak.


== 4 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Mar 22 2008 6:52 am


The different habitat requirements for the southern pin versus northern pin oak is interesting and its influence on taxonomists. In western Mass, the southern pin oak is commonly planted in parks and along the streets. I grows to relatively large dimensions with circumferences of 9 to 12 feet fairly common and heights of 85 to 105 feet. Numbers outside that range do occur, but not often. What are the key characteristics that distinguish the scarlet from the pin oak in the minds of most taxonomists? I presume they can hybridize easily. Is that true?


== 6 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Mar 22 2008 7:05 am
From: Beth Koebel


Maybe I'm wrong about this and I am by far no expert
on this but in general the sinuses are different, one
is more "C" shape and the other is more "U" shape,
scarlet and southern pin oak respectivly, the scarlet
oak also perfers dry areas whereas the southern pin
oak perfers wetter areas, and you can't forget the
fall color differnce.

I hope Lee will correct me on anything if I got it


"Information is moving--you know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it's also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets."
Washington DC, May 2, 2007 George W. Bush

== 7 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Mar 22 2008 7:11 am
From: Lee Frelich


On just about all keys, northern pin oak and scarlet oak are the last two
species to be separated at the end of the key. Apparently many taxonomists
have always considered the two species to be very closely related. They
look almost alike. I think the growth form of northern and southern pin
oak, similar to that of a pine, fools most people into thinking they are
more closely related than they really are.

Black oak and northern pin hybridize, and so does northern pin and northern
red. In western WI you can hardly tell the three species apart on sandy
soils. They say if you are at an oak that can't be identified, if you can
throw a stone and hit a jack pine, then call it a northern pin oak, and if
you can throw a stone and hit a sugar maple, then call it red oak,
otherwise call it black oak.

I have not heard of scarlet and pin oak hybridizing, but their ranges are
separated. Maybe its one species that happens to have a discontinuous range.