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Oak, Northern Red Quercus rubra

Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra
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Bristle-tipped leaves turn red in the fall. The leaves have 7 to 11 waxy lobes. A good street tree, tolerates pollution and compacted soil. Grows as much as two feet a year for 10 years. Grows to 60' to 75', 45' spread. (zones 3-8)

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Zones 3 - 8 Zones 3 - 8
Hardiness Zones 3 - 8
The Northern Red Oak can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Shade Tree Shade Tree
Type of tree
Shade Trees
60' - 75' High 60' - 75' High
Mature Height
The Northern Red Oak grows to be 60' - 75' feet in height.
45' Spread 45' Spread
Mature Spread
The Northern Red Oak has a spread of about 45' at full maturity.
Fast Growth Fast Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a fast growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This oak does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The Northern Red Oak grows in acidic, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, clay soils.
Rounded Shape Rounded Shape
Shape
This oak has rounded shape.
Attributes

The Red Oak is an American treasure, and one easy to own. One of its many special features is that it is easier than most trees to transplant and it can tolerate the conditions of cities and towns amazingly well. In parks, along streets and in home landscapes, the tree provides cool shade from its dense crown, brilliant fall colors and a high degree of safety thanks to the superior strength of its wood.

Description

Bristle-tipped leaves turn red in the fall. The leaves have 7 to 11 waxy lobes. A good street tree, tolerates pollution and compacted soil. Grows as much as two feet a year for 10 years. Grows to 60' to 75', 45' spread. (zones 3-8)

Wildlife Value

Red oak acorns are at the top of the food preference list for blue jays, wild turkeys, squirrels, small rodents, whitetail deer, raccoons, and black bears. Deer also browse the buds and twigs in wintertime.

History/Lore/Use

The Red Oak has been a favorite of both lumbermen and landscapers since colonial times. The tree has also found favor when transplanted in Europe. It is believed that Bishop Compton's garden, near Fulham in England, received the first Red Oak transplant abroad in the late 17th century. In 1924, there were over 450 acres of Red Oak plantations in Baden, Germany.

Moisture

Normal moisture with some drought tolerance.

Leaves

The leaves alternate, simple, 4 to 8 inches long with pointed, spine-tipped lobes. Dark green color turning russet-red to bright red in autumn.

Flower Color

Pale, yellow-green catkins appear at about the same time new foliage is expanding.

Bloom Time

April-May

Fruit Description

The Acorn is round, 3/4 to 1 inch long, flat, thick, saucer like cap, brown.