Seeking oak species ID
I have a number of oak seedling sprouting in my yard. I am trying to decide which ones to keep and cultivate, and which ones to let the deer chomp on. Here are two photos. Can you tell me which species they are? Thanks. I live in a neighborhood on the edge of Watts branch Park. Just for kicks, I am also sending a photo of the first two eggs in our bluebirds’ second brood of the season.
Montgomery County Maryland
Thanks for your question. The oak seedlings in your photos are some type of white oak. White oak leaves have smooth rounded lobes while red oak leaves have bristles on the tips of the lobes. There are at least 9 white oak species that are native to Maryland. Oaks freely hybridize in the wild and immature foliage may appear different from mature foliage, making positive identification a challenge.
Here is a link to USDA's Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America. https://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/technology/pdfs/fieldguide.pdf It has photos of acorns and descriptions that may help you to narrow the possibilities.