I ran across a few trees in a woods in north central Indiana that I can't identify and hoped someone could help. The bark looks almost like a cherry tree from a distance. Up close, the bark is deeper furrowed than a cherry, but still very dark, almost black and still looks very close to a cherry. Most of the trees are 22-24" DBH. I can identify many other red oaks in these woods, but I found some very large dark oak leaves nearly 8" long under these trees, which made me think these trees may be black oaks, but the bark doesn't match. Again, it almost looks like cherry bark but furrowed about an inch deep instead of the black scales of a cherry. The trees appear to be oaks by the shape, branch development, etc.
From contributor Z:
Oaks have clustered end buds. Take your pocket knife and drill into the inter bark. Black oak has a very dark, yellowish-orange inter-bark and has a very bitter taste. Cherry twigs have a very pungent taste.