- Common Name(s):
- Northern Red oak, Red oak
- Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Trees
Quercus rubra, commonly called red oak or northern red oak, is a medium-sized, deciduous tree with a rounded to broad-spreading, often irregular crown. It typically grows at a moderate-to-fast rate to a height of 50-75' (often larger in the wild). The bark is smooth on young stems. As the tree ages, wide, flat-topped ridges and shallow furrows develop. The shallow furrows form a pattern resembling ski tracts.
This tree may have various shapes, depending on the species.
It produces pollen flowers in drooping, elongated clusters.
Regions: Mountains, Piedmont
Seasons of Interest:
Leaves: Fall Bloom: Spring Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall
Wildlife Value: The Red Oak is a host plant for the Banded Hairstreak, Edward's Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, White-M Hairstreak, Horace's Duskywing and the Juvenal's Duskywing butterflies. The acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue jays small mammals, wild turkeys white-tailed deer and black bears. It is also moderately deer resistant.
Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: The Red oak tree is a durable and long-lived tree. Susceptible to oak wilt which is a systemic fungal disease that has no cure. Chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves while the veins remain green) often occurs when soils are not sufficiently acidic.
- 60-75 ft.
- The Insignificant flowers of the Red oak appear in separate male and female catkins in the spring. The fruits are acorns (with flat, saucer-shaped cups) which mature in early fall. An abundant crop of acorns may not occur before this tree reaches 40 years old.
- The Red oak grows best in average, dry to medium moisture, acidic soil in full sun. It prefers fertile, sandy, finely-textured soils with good drainage.
- Rounded; symmetrical; flat top with age
- Sun, light shade
- Poison Part:
- Acorns (seeds of nuts) and young leaves.
- Poison Delivery Mode:
- Stomach pain, constipation and later bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination
- EDIBLE PARTS: Acorns (nuts) are edible after tannins are leached or boiled out. HARVEST TIME: Only collect nutsfrom areas you kn
- Toxic Principle:
- Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
- CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN.
- Found in:
- Forest or natural areas; landscape as ornamental and shade trees.
- 60-75 ft.
- Growth Rate:
- The leaves of the Red oak are alternate, simple, dark, lustrous green leaves (grayish-white beneath) with 7-11, toothed lobes which are sharply pointed at the tips. The leaves turn brownish-red in autumn.
NCCES plant id: 2178