Sand Post Oak

This slow growing, drought resistant oak is often small to medium and scrubby. It may not produce seeds for 20-30 yrs. The wood is used for mining timbers, railroad ties, flooring, and siding. Because it resists decay while in soil, it is used widely for fence posts. The acorns are food to many wild animals, but may be toxic to livestock.

Quercus margaretta or Sand post oak is most often a small to medium, scrubby, deciduous tree, although it may grow to 65' tall in good locations. It is a slow growing, drought resistant oak that grows from Massachusetts south to central Florida and west into eastern Kansas, Illinois, and Texas. It is often found with longleaf pine and turkey oak on sites such as open ridges, sandhill scrubs, and woods. It is sometimes grown as a shade tree or to stabilize soil along sandy slopes or ridges. 

The leaves are simple, alternate, and variable in shape, most often being 3 to 5-lobed and 2" to 4" long. The upper and central lobes are larger and more squarish, giving the leaves a distinctive cross-like form. The leaves are stiff, dark green, and smooth to slightly hairy on the upper surface and tannish-brown and hairy underneath.
The fruit is a ½" to ¾" ovoid acorn with a saucer-shaped cap. The cap is scaly, with soft hairs. The fruits may be single or clustered and are either attached directly by its base without a stalk or on stalks.

The bark is gray to reddish-brown with broad, flat ridges and scaly fissures. It contains tannins that inhibit insects and makes it ideal landscape mulch. The chipped bark is attractive and will retain moisture and nutrients while reducing insect infestation.

Although durable and moderately to highly resistant to disease, the wood of sand post oak is not considered a good timber. Its slow growth rate and susceptibility to insect damage limit commercial uses. Most of the wood is harvested for mining timbers, railroad ties, flooring, and siding. The ability of the trees to resist decay, while within soil, has led to their extensive use for fence posts and, thus to its common name. 

These trees provide valuable resources to numerous wildlife. Cavities within the oaks provide good nesting and denning sites for cavity-nesting birds and various mammals. The foliage is often used in nest building by birds, rodents, and small mammals. The trees also provide shelter, nesting, and perching sites for many songbirds and birds of prey. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, three species of squirrel (gray, fox, and flying), and various rodents depend on acorns for high-energy food source; however, the tannins in the acorns, leaves, and buds are poisonous to some domestic livestock. - goats, cattle, and sheep – and oak poisoning can be fatal.
Sand Post Oak

Sand Post Oak

Sand Post Oak Leaves

1. "Sand Post Oak." Sand Post Oak. N.p., n.d. University of Florida. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. At:

2. Acorns. (n.d.) Digital Image. Meridian Community Unit school District #15. Web 20 Sept. 2012. Retrieved from:

3. De Langhe, Jan. Sand Post Oak Leaves(2009) Digital Image. International Oak Society. Web 20 Sept. 2012. Retrieved from:

4. Sand Post Oak. (n.d.) Digital Image.  University of Florida. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. At: