The Scarlet Oak tree is well named. Its early spring foliage is often red, its inner bark is reddish, and in autumn the leaves are brilliant red or scarlet. The acorns of this tree are a favorite food for gray squirrels, chipmunks, mice and birds, especially blue jays. It is a common tree in the Appalachian Mountains but has become a popular landscape tree throughout the eastern and central United States.
Fast-growing and tolerates a wide range of soils. Leaves are glossy deep green on top, paler green below, and scarlet in fall. Crown is open and rounded, providing light shade. Grows to 60' to 80', 40'-50' spread. (zones 4-9)
Scarlet oak acorns are an important food source for many large songbirds, wild turkeys, grouse, squirrels, and whitetail deer.
The native range of the Scarlet Oak tree extends from Maine to Florida and west to Missouri. The first scientific observations of this tree were made in 1691. The brilliant red leaf color extends well into winter, making an excellent splash of color against a white snow background.
Normal moisture preferred, but with some drought tolerance.
This trees leaves are 4 to 7 inches long with 7 to 9 (rarely) narrow, bristle-tipped lobes separated by deep sinuses. Green in summer with brilliant red or scarlet color in autumn.
Brown, faded flower color. Not noteworthy.
The fruit is round, 1 inch long, attractive to wildlife.