Black Jack Oak or Barren Oak TreeThe Black Jack, or Barren Oak (Q. Marilandica, Muench.), is a black-trunked, contorted, spreading shrub, or a tree reaching the height of 50 feet. Its leaves are leathery, with brown fuzzy linings, and the upper surfaces are set with rough, stellate hairs. The leaf broadens to its apex and ends in three indistinct lobes of variable size and form, whose ribs protrude into the bristly points that characterise the black oak group. The obovate or pear-shaped outline is constant, however the lobing may vary.
The function of this ragged little tree is to clothe sterile ground from New York to Nebraska, and south to Florida and Texas. What it lacks in beauty it makes up for in a certain admirable ruggedness of character. The leaves are not as other oak leaves, and the tree's habit is as handsome as one could expect considering the worthless ground assigned it by Nature.