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Post Oaks

Making It Grow! Minute logo

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson extension and Making It Grow. There are two magnificent post oaks, Quercus stellata, growing in the yard of an abandoned house in St. Matthews that I admire for their incredible character.  Post oaks are in the white oak family but have their own distinctive appearance as they are gnarly, open in habit, with twisted branches.

Last fall I spent an hour looking for acorns under these trees and found   only a half dozen. Now I’ve read that once oak trees get to be sixty years old or so, their production of acorns drops dramatically! As these trees date from at least the beginning of 20th century, no wonder they are no longer producing reproductive material. I’ve heard these trees are common in parts of Texas with poor soils and little rainfall; that makes sense as Post oaks can live in tougher situations than many other white oaks.     

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.