- Common Name(s):
- Black oak, Red oak, Scarlet oak, Spanish oak
- Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Trees
Scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea), also called black oak, red oak, or Spanish oak, is best known for its brilliant autumn color. It is a large rapid-growing tree of the Eastern United States found on a variety of soils in mixed forests, especially light sandy and gravelly upland ridges and slopes. In commerce, the lumber is mixed with that of other red oaks. Scarlet oak is a popular shade tree and has been widely planted in the United States and Europe.
Regions: Mountain, Piedmont
Seasons of Interest:
Leaves: Fall Bloom: Early Spring Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall
Wildlife Value: The Scaret oak is a host plant for the Banded Hairstread, Edward's Hairstreak, Grey Hairstreak, White-M Hairstreak, Horace's Duskywing, and Juvenal's Duskywing butterflies. Acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue jays, small mammals, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and black bear. It is resistant to damage by deer.
Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Leaf spots, anthracnose, canker, mildew, rust, rots, galls, and numerous insect problems have been reported. This tree is highly susceptible to oak wilt. However, this tree is long-living, durable and considered to be a low-maintenance tree to grow.
- 50-80 ft.
- The Scarlet Oak is monoecious (having the stamens and the pistils in separate flowers on the same plant), with neither male (drooping catkins) nor female (solitary or clustered) flowers being showy. The fruit is an acorn (1/2" to 1" long) that
- The Scarlet Oak is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. It prefers dry, acidic, sandy soils.
- Medium to coarse
- Symmetrical in youth; round, open, spreading crown with age
- Poison Part:
- Acorns (seeds of nuts) and young leaves.
- Poison Delivery Mode:
- Stomach pain, constipation and later bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination
- Acorns (nuts) are edible after tannins are leached or boiled out. Only collect nuts from areas you know.
- Toxic Principle:
- Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
- CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN.
- Found in:
- Forest or natural areas; landscape as ornamental and shade trees.
- 40-50 ft.
- Growth Rate:
- The leaves of the Scarlet Oak are 3-6" long, alternate, simple, lustrous, dark green and deeply cut with bristle-tipped, pointed lobes. The foliage is a glossy green in summer turning to scarlet in fall.
NCCES plant id: 2156