The Northern Red Oak grows in acidic, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, clay soils.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Normal moisture with some drought tolerance.
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.
Pale, yellow-green catkins appear at about the same time new foliage is expanding.
The Acorn is round, 3/4 to 1 inch long, flat, thick, saucer like cap, brown.