The pin oak refers to a red oak (Genus, Quercus; Section, Lobatae) of the Fagaceae Family. Plants of the Fagaceae family are distinguished from otheres by their simple leaves with pinnate venation, monoecious (i.e. hermaphroditic) reprodcutive capacity, and cupule-shaped fruits. The fruit of Quercus palustris is the acorn, roughly 15,000 of which will be produced by any given Pin Oak each year.
The pin oak is also deciduous, meaning that it will abscise, or shed, its leaves each fall after dropping its zygote-bearing acorns. Oaks undergo abscission for a number of reasons; the pin oak does so to conserve water and nutrients during the drier seasons. A majority of water and nutrients taken up by the tree's vascular transport tissues are absorbed by the leaves, and the process demands incredible energy expenditure.
Relative to other deciduous trees, the pin oak is medium-sized at maturity, reaching a full height of 18–22 meters. The trunk's diameter (base) can reach 1 meter and only rarely exceeds this size. My pin oak measures 22.3 meters in height, placing it among the tallest; trunk diameter is 0.79 meters. Growth proceeds slowly for the first 20 years - around the time acorn production begins - and thereafter accelerates markedly.