It seemed like such a simple idea to do a little research on the various oak trees which grace our streets with their names, but it’s turned out to be a bit more labor-intensive than I thought. For example, Box Oak would have remained a mystery if a kind reader hadn’t pointed out that Box Oak isn’t a tree at all, but a way that the oak wood is cut to build a box. Oh. So sensible, but so not-obvious — to me, at least.
Then I decided to move on down the street a bit and see what I could find out about the Gambrel Oak. Well, it seems there is also(?) a Gambel Oak, and there are a lot of web pages on that subject. But, you know, you have to figure that the people who were smart enough to lay out the streets in our dear township were probably also smart enough to spell a name correctly, so I kept digging.
From what I’ve found so far, it seems that yes, indeed, there is a Gambrel Oak tree, and it is commonly referred to as “scrub oak.” It grows well in thin, sandy soil, and does well in dry conditions. That sounds about right, doesn’t it? I found a few pictures of what the authors call “scrub oak” while making an earlier reference to Gambrel Oak, so it’s all very confusing. Here’s the best photo I found. Maybe someone out there knows a lot more about this particular tree. If so, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!
Most of the references I found to the scrub oak put it in the western states. One reference was made to South Carolina, so perhaps this tree is wide-ranging. It looks a bit like what we call yaupon trees, but I can’t really tell just by looking at a picture. As I said, if you know more, please share your knowledge.