A red oak type, its leaves are glossy above, deeply 5 to 7 lobed with bristle tips, and persistent through winter. Strongly pyramidal in youth, older trees have a distinctive shape with lower branches drooping and often dying, middle branches horizontal, and upper branches upward spreading. A thin cap encloses 1/4 of the small, 1/2 inch acorn. A fast-growing tree under favorable conditions, it is not taprooted, and will tolerate wet soils. Its natural habitat in Indiana is wet woods with poor drainage.