Nature Notes banner


Volume 1 August, 1932 Number 2


Since the Bear or Scrub Oak (Quercus ilicifolia) on Mount Desert Island is confined to the summit of Acadia Mountain, it naturally attracts considerable attention. Moore and Taylor, in their extensive report on the vegetation of this island remark that "Perhaps no other plant is so apparently out of key with its environment." The plants, except on the north slope, come down to the 225 foot contour and grow clear to the summit (680 feet). This is the same species of oak that covers thousands of acres on the hot sandy plains of Long Island and New Jersey.

How this scrubby tree got started and why it does not grow on other mountains on the island remain a mystery. According to the studies made by the botanists already referred to, several other mountain summits furnish an environment almost identical to that found on Acadia, yet not a single plant of it has been found elsewhere on the island. The trees grow 5 to 8 feet high on the average and form close matty clumps. The limbs are stout and intertwining and the leaves are distinctly bi-colored - a dark green above and a downy gray on the under surface. The illustration below shows the natural size of the leaves and acorns.

- Margaret Stupka

<<< Previous
> Cover <
Next >>>