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Medical disclaimer: always check with a physician before consuming wild plants, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.  Michael Moore also has a glossary of medical terms in his books, and maps in later editions. ) 
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=QURU All States east of the Mississippi R. except Florida, all States along the west bank of the Mississippi, plus Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma; In Canada; Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario (Quercus rubra)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=QUSH All States east of the Mississippi except Wisconsin and States north of Pennsylvania and Maryland, plus Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas; In Canada; Ontario (Quercus shumardii)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=QUST All States east of the Mississippi except Wisconsin, Michigan, and states north of New York/Massachusetts, plus Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Olkahoma and Texas (Quercus stellata)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=QUVI Coastal States from Virginia to Texas (Quercus virginiana)
Photos: (Click on Latin Name after Common Name.)
Warnings: none
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#128 (w)
Common Name: Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

Appearance and Habitat: This 75- 100 ft., deciduous oak occasionally reaches 120 ft. in height. Its straight trunk is clear of branches for some distance above the ground and supports a wide canopy, commonly 3/4 that of height. The dark bark is striped with long, smooth plates separated by deep furrows. Leaf lobes are bristle-tipped. Fall color is can be crimson, golden-orange, or russet. The northernmost eastern oak, it is also the most important lumber species of red oak. Most are used for flooring, furniture, millwork, railroad cross-ties, mine timbers, fenceposts, pilings, and pulpwood.(1)Dry or upland woods. Found in a variety of soils, it grows best in those that are deep and fine textured, and the largrest trees are found in protected ravines or on sheltered slopes. Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Georgia, west to Oklahoma and Minnesota. A deciduous tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 18 m (59ft) at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in October. (2)
Edible Uses: Seed – cooked. A staple food for several native North American Indian tribes. Up to 3cm long. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. (3)
Medicinal Uses: The bark and inner bark is antiseptic, astringent, emetic, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, chronic dysentery, indigestion, asthma, severe coughs, hoarseness, intermittent fevers, bleeding etc. Externally, it is used as a wash for skin eruptions, rashes, burns etc. The bark can be chewed as a treatment for mouth sores. The bark contains tannins, experimentally these have been shown to be antiviral, antiseptic, anticancer and also carcinogenic. Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc
(4)
Foot Notes:
(1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=QURU
Foot Notes:
(2, 3, 4)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Quercus+rubra
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#128 (x)
Common Name: Shumard Oak, Southern Red Oak (Quercus shumardii)

Appearance and Habitat: Shumards oak is a pyraminal tree, growing 50 – 90 ft. and becoming more open at maturity. Bark is thick, smooth and grayish, becoming furrowed and darker gray. The columnar truck is frequently buttressed at the base. Lower branches are chiefly horizontal. Leaves frequently turning scarlet in the fall, up to 7 inches long, with 2 to 4 pairs of pointed lobes with soft, bristlelike tips. Sinuses between the lobes reaching from 1/2 to 3/4 the distance from the tip of the lobe to the leaf midrib. Acorns almost as wide as long, 3/4 to 1 inch long when mature with a broadly rounded apex and a flat base. It has small, usually 5-lobed leaves, small acorns, and hairy red buds (instead of hairless brown).(1)Borders of streams and swamps in rich moist soils. Usually found in clay soils. South-eastern N. America-Michigan to Florida and west to Texas. A deciduous tree growing to 30 m (98ft 5in) at a medium rate. It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in October. (2)
Edible Uses: Seed – cooked. Up to 25mm long and wide, it can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. (3)
Medicinal Uses: Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc
(4)
Foot Notes:
(1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=QUSH
Foot Notes:
(2, 3, 4)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Quercus+shumardii
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#128 (y)
Common Name: Post Oak (Quercus stellata)

Appearance and Habitat: This is a 40-50 ft., coarse-branched, deciduous oak with a dense, oval crown. The trunk is gray to light reddish-brown. Leaf blades variable, 3 to 5 inches long or longer, wavy margined to deeply lobed; the lobes rounded and up to 4 on each side, the upper pair often much larger than the others. Acorns up to 3/4 inch long, sometimes to 1 1/4 inches, the cup without the fringe found in Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa). Post oak is a variable tree with great variation in leaf, bark and habit. The wood is marketed as White Oak and used for railroad cross-ties, posts, and construction timbers. Of large size in the lower Mississippi Valley where it is known as Delta Post Oak. Post Oak and Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica) form the Cross Timbers in Texas and Oklahoma, the forest border of small trees and transition zone to prairie grassland.(1)Rocky or sandy ridges and outcrops, also in dry woodlands in a variety of soils including gravelly, sandy, poor upland soils and heavy moist loamy soils where it reaches its greatest height. South-eastern N. America-Massachusetts to New York, Iowa, Florida and Texas. A deciduous tree growing to 20 m (65ft 7in) at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in October.(2)
Edible Uses: Seed – raw or cooked. A sweet taste. The seed is up to 25mm long and 18mm wide, it can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed from some trees might contain bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. (3)
Medicinal Uses: The bark is astringent, disinfectant, emetic, febrifuge and tonic. An infusion is used in the treatment of chronic dysentery, indigestion, asthma, lost voice and intermittent fevers. The bark can be chewed to treat mouth sores. An infusion of the bark can be used as a wash on sore and chapped skin. Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc
(4)
Foot Notes:
(1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=QUST
Foot Notes:
(2, 3, 4)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Quercus+stellata
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#128 (z)
Common Name: Coastal Live Oak, Southern Live Oak ( Quercus virginiana)

Appearance and Habitat: An open-grown live oak is a massive, picturesque, wide-spreading tree with magnificent horizontal and arching branches that form a broad, rounded canopy. A squat, tapering trunk (larger in diameter than that of any other oak) supports the huge, irregular limbs which often rest their elbows on the ground. Dimensions are 40-80 ft. in height and 60-100 ft. in width. Dark-green, waxy, unlobed leaves fall just as new leaves emerge in the spring, making the tree appear evergreen, though the coordinated leaf loss means its not actually a true evergreen. This is the familiar Spanish moss-covered oak of plantations in southeastern North America. Its massive limbs and persistent, glossy foliage have sustained its popularity as a residential shade tree to the present day. It is rarely found inland except in cultivation, where it becomes semi-deciduous and slower growing than those that receive the moisture-laden winds of the coast. Adequate water is essential to maintaining this tree, though it is fairly drought-tolerant once established within its range. It is, however, quite susceptible to oak wilt where that is a problem, so treating surface wounds and avoiding damage to the roots is important. Though this is the best known live oak, there are a few North American live oak species also popular in residential landscaping, including on the West Coast, California Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia Née), and, in southern Oklahoma, central Texas, and northeastern Mexico, Escarpment Live Oak (Q. fusiformis Small), sometimes regarded as a mere variety of Q. virginiana but currently considered a distinct species. Escarpment live oak has slightly smaller leaves, broadest toward the base, and acorns with cups narrowed at the base (fusiform). It is more drought-tolerant than Q. virginiana and is commonly planted in drier parts of Texas. Both Q. virginiana and Q. fusiformis may send up dense shoots near or far from the trunk from rhizomes, sometimes so thickly that when mowed it looks like a groundcover.(1)  Sandy dry to wet soils, especially by the coast. Usually found in sandy-loam soils, but it is also found in heavy clays. South-eastern N. America – Virginia to Florida and Texas. A evergreen tree Tree growing to 20 m (65ft 7in) at a medium rate. It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender.(2)
Edible Uses: Seed – raw or cooked. Low in tannin, it has a sweet flavour. The seed is usually produced in clusters of 3 – 5 and is about 25mm long and 10mm wide. It is about 12mm long according to another report. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. An edible oil obtained from the seed is used for cooking. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. (3)
Medicinal Uses: The bark is astringent. A decoction has been used in the treatment of dysentery. A decoction of the wood chips or the bark has been applied externally as an astringent analgesic to treat aches and pains, sores and haemorrhoids Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc
(4)
Foot Notes:
(1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=QUVI
Foot Notes:
(2, 3, 4)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Quercus+virginiana
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(Now for Michael Moore on all western species)

Appearance and Habitat: The western oaks vary from trees to shrubs. It is not uncommon for Oaks to form hybrids. Most Oaks lose their leaves in the fall, except live Oaks. Some hold their leaves until new growth in the spring. The leaves vary from deeply indented to smooth and oblong. A sure give away is the acorn fruit. They prefer some moisture either from runoff or below ground. Look for them in the west in mountain ravines.
Edible Uses: Grind the acorns into meal use sparingly to thicken soups, gravy, and baked goods. If it is bitter, soak the meal over-night pour off the water and repeat for a second day. To keep from losing minerals in the acorns place them, shelled, in a running stream for a week.
Medicinal Uses: Collect the bark in late fall or early spring. The galls when they are still moist. Collect the leaves in the fall. This is the time when they have the most tannin in them. The bark should be collected only from a living tree. Remove the bark by cutting shallow cuts around the diameter a limb every foot or 2, then length-wise cuts every 2 – 3 inches. After stripping the bark hang it on wire that has a coat of oil in an airy location in the shade. For the galls, split them into at least quarters, place them on paper or in a shallow box in the shade. For the leaves, wrap them in 1/2 inch bundles and dry them in the shade. Oak bark, leaves and galls are an astringent. Tea made from the bark is a good wash for gum inflammations and a gargle for sore throats. It will also stop diarrhea. To make the tea use a tablespoon full of bark in a pint of water and boil. When it cools it can also be used as an enema. All oaks work as first aid on inflammations, abrasions, and cuts. They work helping to clot, shrink inflammations and while being an antiseptic. It is also a useful to treat first and second degree burns. The galls contain 2 or 3 times the tannin of the bark and are used as an external treatment, whether fresh or died, as a wash. Hikers can chew the leaves and place them on an insect bite to lessen pain. The dried bark and leaves can be made tincture at 1 part dried plant to 5 parts 50% vodka, plus 10% glycerin. This tincture can be taken 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to 4 times a day. A fresh tincture of the galls can be made at 1 part fresh gall to 2 parts 50% vodka. Ground-up galls can also be made into a paste as a poultice.
Medical Plants of the Moutain West2nd Edition, by Michael Moore, pages 176 – 177; Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2
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The Encyclopedia Of Country Living
by Carla Emery, 9th Edition, page 424, Publisher: Sasquatch books Copy right 1994; ISBN 0-912365-95-1

Tannin is very soluble in hot water. Peel the acorns and grind them up. Soak the flour in very hot water. The water will turn brown because of the tannin is leaking out. Throw away the water and repeat 4 times. Another way is to line a colander with straining cloth, put the ground acorns in, and gradually pour a gallon of boiling water through the ground acorns. The acorn meal will still have some dark chocolaty color to the paste, but you can still be confident that enough tannin was removed to make the meal edible.  Spread the acorn paste on a baking sheet and bake at a low temperature until dried. If it cakes, grind it again. You can use acorn meal for cornmeal in any recipe, or use part cornmeal and part acorn meal.

Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
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