If Trees Could Sing - Tim O'Brien & Chinkapin Oak

Stories in Tennessee

If Trees Could Sing: Tim O'Brien & the Chinkapin Oak

Americana musician Tim O'Brien talks about the chinkapin oak and the benefits that trees provide us.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O’Brien has captivated fans in bluegrass, country, Celtic and acoustic music with his songwriting, singing and prowess on fiddle, mandolin and guitar. His songs have been recorded by the Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Kathy Mattea and Nickel Creek, while his musical collaborators have ranged from rocker Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits to Irish music icons the Chieftans. He has twice been honored as Male Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and he won a Grammy for his album Fiddler’s Green. His work in the band the Earls of Leicester won a 2015 Grammy award for Best Bluegrass Album for their debut album. In 2017, he released his sixteenth solo album, Where the River Meets the Road.

See more music artists talking about trees...

Tim O'Brien Tim O'Brien talks about the chinkapin oak in this video for The Nature Conservancy's "If Trees Could Sing" video series.

Chinkapin Oak Facts

  • Scientific name: Quercus muehlenbergii
  • Other names: chestnut oak, yellow oak, chinquapin oak
  • Range: across the East and Midwest, except for the Atlantic and Gulf coasts
  • Height: up to 80 feet tall
  • Fruit: oval acorns, 1.25" long, turning black when mature
  • Fall colors: leaves turn shades of yellow, yellow-orange and brown

You Can Take Care of Trees Like the Chinkapin Oak

  • Plant in late fall or winter when the tree is dormant, unless the ground is frozen. 
  • Allow plenty of room for the tree to mature and grow.
  • Water it regularly in its first three years.
  • Spread mulch around the base of the tree. 

Mighty Cool Tree Fact

Did you know... three strategically placed trees can reduce home cooling and heating costs by 50%?