Excellent Food and Cover

Scrub, Bear or Turkey Oak- Quercus ilicifoliata


Shrub or small tree with a rough, straggling appearance.


Smooth, brown, twigs with a star-shaped pith.


Deciduous, alternate, wedge-shaped base, widest near tip, usually 5 lobes with bristle tips, downy wite beneath, turns russet brown in autumn and persist through winter.


Acorn less than ½ inch long with ½ or less enclosed in the saucer-shaped cup.

West Virginia Range

Berkeley , Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Monroe , Morgan, Pendleton, Pocahontas and Randolph .

Natural Habitat

Dry hillside and ridgetops.

Wildlife Use

Many wildlife species feed on the acorns. Animals include deer, bear, squirrel, chipmunks, etc. Birds include turkey, grouse, quail, bluejays, and woodpeckers. Deer will browse on the twigs and foliage. Scrub oak produces, abundant and frequent crops of acorns and is very valuable for wildlife plantings. It also provides excellent year-round cover and good nest sites when grown in small groups.


Uses: group plantings (masses), rock gardens, or specimen.
Light: Full sunlight.
Soil Moisture: Dry.
Soil pH: Acid to mildly acid (optimum 4.5 to 6).
Problems: No serious insect or disease problems known. Difficult to transplant seedlings (best to plant acorns).

Compiled by: Emily K. Grafton, botanist, naturalist and environmental educator, Morgantown , West Virginia .Written by West Virginia Native Plant Society members and jointly published with the WV Wildlife Diversity Program.