Print This Page

Northern Red Oak

Botanical Name:  Quercus rubra
Family:  Fagaceae
Common Name:  red oak

Type:  Tree
Native Range:  Eastern North America
Zone:  4 to 8
Height:  50 to 75 feet
Spread:  50 to 75 feet
Bloom Time:  May Bloom
Description:  Yellowish-green
Sun:  Full sun
Water:  Dry to medium
Maintenance:  Low
Suggested Use:  Shade tree, street tree
Flower:  Insignificant
Leaf:  Good Fall
Tolerate:  Drought, dry soil, black walnut, air pollution

Culture: Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, acidic soil in full sun. Prefers fertile, sandy, finely-textured soils with good drainage.

Habit:  Commonly called red oak or northern red oak, is a medium sized, deciduous tree with a rounded to broad-spreading, often irregular crown. Typically grows at a moderate-to-fast rate to a height of 50-75' (often larger in the wild). Dark, lustrous green leaves (grayish-white beneath) with 7-11, toothed lobes which are sharply pointed at the tips. Leaves turn brownish-red in autumn. Insignificant flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring. Fruits are acorns (with flat, saucer-shaped cups) that mature in early fall. An abundant crop of acorns may not occur before this tree reaches 40 years old.

Problems:  Generally a durable and long-lived tree. Susceptible to oak wilt which is a systemic fungal disease that has no cure. Chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves while the veins remain green) often occurs when soils are not sufficiently acidic.

Uses:  Specimen, street tree, lawn tree.

Notes:  Genus name comes from the classical Latin name for oak trees. Specific epithet means red.

  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns