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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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