<p>Black oak acorns are an important food for squirrels, white-tail deer, mice, voles, turkeys, and other birds. In Illinois, fox squirrels have been observed feeding on black oak catkins. Black oak is not extensively planted as an ornamental, but its fall color contributes greatly to the esthetic value of oak forests.</p><p>Forestryimages.org provides several images of parts of Black oak. The tree is a hardwood and the lineal taxonomy is Magnoliopsida &gt; Fagales &gt; Fagaceae &gt; Quercus velutina. Black oak is also commonly called yellow oak, quercitron, yellowbark oak, or smoothbark oak.</p><p>Black oak is widely distributed from southwestern Maine west in New York to extreme southern Ontario, southeastern Minnesota, and Iowa; south in eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, central Oklahoma, and eastern Texas; and east to northwestern Florida and Georgia.</p><p>Leaf: Alternate, simple, 4 to 10 inches long, obovate or ovate in shape with 5 (mostly) to 7 bristle-tipped lobes; <a href="https://www.thoughtco.com/id-trees-using-leaf-shape-venation-1343511" data-inlink="FswpdfWCBPFJrBcpnAVqKg&#61;&#61;" data-type="internalLink" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-ordinal="1">leaf shape</a> is variable, with sun leaves having deep sinuses and shade leaves having very shallow sinuses, lustrous shiny green above, paler with a scruffy pubescence and axillary tufts below.</p><p>Twig: Stout and red-brown to gray-green, usually glabrous but rapidly growing twigs may be hairy; buds are very large (1/4 to 1/2 inch long), buff-colored, fuzzy, pointed and distinctly angular.</p>Black oak is moderately resistant to fire. Small black oaks are easily top-killed by fire but sprout vigorously from the root crown. Larger black oaks can withstand low-severity surface fire because of moderately thick basal bark. They are susceptible to basal wounding.