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10 Years of Delta Land Services: Seedlings

Water Oak (Quercus nigra)

A common tree, both in the wild and in our restoration projects, the water oak thrives in semi-wet to wet environments, thus the designation of Facultative-wetland[1] (FACW) by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Some of these wet environments include forested wetlands and remnant swamps and floodplains in the Gulf South.  This deciduous, acorn-producing tree has been planted by Delta a total of 712,293 times over the past ten years.

Easily identifiable by its spoon-like leaf, water oaks provide valuable habitat, cover, and food for many species of wildlife such as squirrels, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and various waterfowl. Water oak snags also make the perfect place for cavity nesters such as the red-bellied woodpecker.


With its wildlife value, rapid growing pace, and water tolerance, Quercus nigra is an ideal tree for restoration efforts in the forested wetland portions of our mitigation banks.
A lone water oak in a pine thicket also makes for the ideal habitat of the southern flying squirrel.

[1] “Usually occurs in wetlands but may occur in non-wetlands” (USDA, NRCS. 2020. The PLANTS Database (, 13 July 2020). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.)


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