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Scarlet OakQuercus coccinea

  • Scarlet Oak - Quercus coccinea
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)

Hardiness Zones

The scarlet oak can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–9. View Map

Tree Type

Mature Size

The scarlet oak grows to a height of 60–80' and a spread of 40–50' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The scarlet oak is very versatile—growing in a wide range of soils except alkaline. While it prefers normal moisture, the tree has some drought tolerance.


This tree:
  • Provides brilliant red fall color that extends well into winter, making an excellent splash against the white snow.
  • Features leaves that are 4–7" long with 7 (rarely 9) narrow, bristle-tipped lobes separated by deep sinuses.
  • Yields acorns that are ½–1" in length and enclosed by a bowl-like, scaly cup. An especially large crop is produced every 3–5 years.
  • Develops an open crown, providing light shade.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.
  • Should not be planted in alkaline soil.

Wildlife Value

Scarlet oak acorns are an important food source for many large songbirds, wild turkeys, grouse, squirrels and white-tailed 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.