A small deciduous tree up to 20 or 30 ft high, more frequently a rounded shrub; young shoots hoary with short down. Leaves 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 21⁄2 in. wide, obovate or oval in the main, but deeply three-, five-, or seven-lobed, the apex and the lobes narrowly triangular, pointed, and terminated by a bristle-like tip, the base wedge-shaped, dark glossy green and glabrous (or soon becoming so) above, clothed beneath with a close whitish felt; stalk 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. long, slender. Fruits solitary or in pairs; acorns 1⁄2 in. long, roundish, ripening the second season, the lower half enclosed in a short-stalked cup with thin, flattened, downy scales.
Native of the eastern United States; introduced in 1800. A neat-habited and interesting oak, distinguished among the species with similar leaf shape by its small stature and the felted undersurface of its leaves. The freedom with which it bears acorns has led to the suggestion that it may make good pheasant covert. In Messrs Barbier’s nursery at Orleans and at Les Barres I have seen it bearing great crops, but it does not produce them so freely in Britain. Its leaves die off scarlet and yellow in America, but are rarely highly coloured with us.