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Shin Oak

The Quercus Grisea is commonly known as Gray Oak, Grey Oak, Scrub Oak, as well as Shin Oak

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Growing Regions

Although of limited distribution overall, gray oak is relatively common in the Trans-Pecos area of Texas [50].  Its range extends from Texas westward into the mountains of central and southern New Mexico [48]. Gray oak is less common in central and southeastern Arizona [35,60]. The scattered populations of gray oak in northern Mexico extend southward to Durango and westward from Coahuila to Sonora [27,36,48,57].


General Information

The currently accepted scientific name of gray oak is Quercus grisea Liebm. It is a member of the oak family (Fagaceae) [11,32]. There are no recognized infrataxa. Gray oak hybridizes with four other oak species where it overlaps their ranges: Gambel oak (Q. gambelii) [1,57], sandpaper oak (Q. pungens), Mohr shin oak (Q. mohriana) [11,22,44], and Arizona white oak (Q. arizonica) [14,32,60].

Gray oak is a dominant or codominant member of the Madrean evergreen oak
woodlands, encinal, and pine-oak (Pinus spp.-Quercus spp.) communities
[5,6,7,25,34,38].  It is a codominant or a common mid-story tree in
juniper (Juniperus spp.)-Mexican pinyon (Pinus cembroides) and
juniper-true pinyon pine (P. edulis)-oak habitat series or community
types [13,28,41,43,49,54,56].  Gray oak is a dominant species in the
juniper-gray oak association [7,24,26,43].  It is the principal tree in
gray oak series and community types [3,41,56].  Gray oak occurs as a
dominant shrub in pinyon-juniper woodlands [30,47,57].  In riparian
habitats, gray oak is an important subdominant species in the bigtooth
maple (Acer grandidentatum)-oak series, in the western soapberry
(Sapindus saponaria) and lanceleaf cottonwood (Populus acuminata)/
sandbar willow (Salix exigua) habitat types, and in mesophytic
communities of New Mexico and Texas [22,40,42,46,56].  It may replace
little walnut (Juglans microcarpa) in wet areas [46].  Gray oak is an
indicator species in the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) series and
occurs in Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests that have a lower
stratum of oaks [2,14,20,34,42,56].  Some of the publications in which
gray oak is listed as a dominant or indicator species are:

(1)  Classification of the forest vegetation on the National Forests of
       Arizona and New Mexico [2]
(2)  Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of Arizona
       south of the Mogollon Rim and southwestern New Mexico [3]
(3)  Forest habitat types in the Apache, Gila, and part of the Cibola
       National Forests, Arizona and New Mexico [20]
(4)  Woodland communities and soils of Fort Bayard, southwestern New
       Mexico [41]
(5)  Plant communities of Texas (Series level): February 1992 [56].

Several woody species associated with gray oak that were not previously
mentioned in the Distribution and Occurrence information include
fendlerbush (Fendlera rupicola), bushy sage (Salvia ramosissima), Texas
madrone (Arbutus texana), Fremont barberry (Berberis fremontii),
Louisiana sagewort (Artemisia ludoviciana), and soaptree yucca (Yucca
elata) [9,12,16,40].

Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Pavek, Diane S. 1994. Quercus grisea. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.

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