Pin oaks can be found around the park’s interior, where they thrive in the bright sunlight. They are native to New York and have a very distinctive canopy. By 10 years old, a tree grown in full sun will be about 26 feet tall. Young trees have straight trunks with smooth bark and a pyramid-like canopy. At 40 years old, Pin oaks develop rougher bark and a loose, spreading canopy. Their upper branches point to the sky and lower branches droop downwards, giving the tree its distinct symmetry. As summer turns to fall, their leaves turn reddish bronze. Their acorns mature from green to pale brown, about 18 months after pollination.
Pin oaks are very adaptable and can survive in wet conditions and clay soils with the help of their fibrous root system. The young trees retain their dead leaves through the winter in a phenomenon known as marcescence. Marcescence helps protect the trees from water and temperature stress through the colder months and keeps the leaves available for nutrient-rich mulch in the spring. Pin oaks generally live for about 120 years, and can only be replanted in the park when the growth of older trees leaves gaps in the canopy.