Northern Red Oak Tree Overview
Northern Red Oak tree (Quercus rubra or red oak) is a large sized deciduous tree (loses leaves seasonally), typically growing more than 60 feet tall. With an easy recognizable bark consisting of stripes down the center all the way to the trunk, Northern Red Oak tree is a great choice as an ornamental tree as it can be used as a shade tree as well to decorate street/parkways.
As a native North American tree belong to the red oak group, Northern Red Oak is the most common oak tree variety growing in the northeastern United States. The tree is large with a straight trunk. Flowers from April to May and fruits from September to October. The leaves are bristle tipped and turn a beautiful red color in the fall. Fruits (acorns) are reddish-brown and beneficial for wildlife. One of the benefits of this ornamental tree is that it has many different uses, including being very valuable for timber production in North America. The tree can be somewhat tolerant to drought-like conditions. Grows well in hardiness zones 3 to 7.
Uses: Shade, timber production, firewood, fence posts, street, parkway, gardens, acorns are food for wildlife
Size: Large tree with height of more than 60-75 ft, and spread of 45 ft
Growth: Fast growth rate (height can grow more than 24″ each year)
Sun Conditions: Best grown in full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun)
Soil Conditions: Grows well in well drained, acidic, sandy, loamy, clay soil. Can withstand urban conditions and has some tolerance for drought like conditions.
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7
Pests and diseases:
- Canker “diplodia corticola”: causes leaf browning, craking of the bark, tree mortality
- Fungal infection (Phytophthora cinnamomi and Phytophthora ramorum): can cause red-black cankers in the trunk area. The fungi is usually common in warmer climates (such as California)
- Oak wilt: susceptible. Discoloration (e.g. yellowing of leaves along the veins) a first sign followed by scorch (browning).
Check out our guides page for information on how to take care of trees.