Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Georgia Oak - Quercus georgiana   M.A. Curtis
Members of Fagaceae:
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Section 6 » Order Fagales » Family Fagaceae
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AuthorM.A. Curtis
DistributionKnown in the state only from two locations, in Rutherford and Mecklenburg counties; NC lies at the northern edge of the range. The species was not discovered in the state until 2010, and thus is one of the last tree species to have been added to the state list.

This is one of the rarest oaks in the East. It has a small range from southwestern NC and northern AL, south only to central GA and central AL, almost solely found in the Piedmont province.
AbundanceVery rare, and restricted in habitat; thus, not likely to be found at many more sites in the state, especially in a random search. It is a State Significantly Rare species.
HabitatIn its overall range, it is found only on dry or rocky slopes, ridges, and bluffs, especially around rock outcrops. In the Carolinas, this habitat is essentially only the shallow soil around the margins of granitic flatrocks or granitic domes. RAB (1968) says “Granitic hills” for its range in SC.
PhenologyFlowers in April, and fruits in September and October of the second year.
IdentificationCertainly unfamiliar to nearly all NC biologists in our state, if one visits granitic flatrocks and domes in north-central GA you can become experienced with this rather fascinating small tree. Though deciduous, the dead, brown leaves often remain on the tree all winter. It is small in stature, typically reaching only 20-25 feet tall. The leaves, as with most oaks, are the defining feature (as are its close ties to granitic outcrops). They are of medium size but have only 3-7, usually 5, somewhat triangular lobes, with triangular sinuses and bristle tips; these lobes and sinuses are often not symmetrical. The leaves are a rich or dark green and quite shiny above, but not thick in texture. The leaves can look a bit like those of Turkey Oak (Q. laevis), but those are somewhat less triangular in lobing, are oriented mostly perpendicular to the ground, and the tree grows in deep sands and not normally at outcrop margins. The range does not overlap that of Bear Oak (Q. ilicifolia), another scrubby tree of rocky outcrops and with angular leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Stone Mountain Oak
State RankS1
Global RankG3
State StatusSR-P
US Status
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