The characteristic bark is dark and very rough. On older trees it typically is broken into long, V-shaped ridges that are separated by deep furrows. The tree grows on dry, rocky ridges and slopes. In Ohio it most frequently occurs in the hilly, southeastern part of the state, less frequently northward, and not at all in the western areas. The wood is strong and durable, and mainly used for general construction and fuel. This tree probably was an important source of charcoal fuel for the historic iron furnaces of southeastern Ohio. The bark has greater tannin content than most other oaks, and was extensively used in the leather tanning trade. The acorns are an important source of food for various forms of wildlife.