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Quercus falcata is often confused with:
Quercus laevis Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Quercus nigra Form
Quercus alba Full Form
Quercus coccinea Fall color

Quercus falcata

Phonetic Spelling
KWER-kus fal-KAY-tuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Southern Red Oak is a native deciduous tree and is found in all areas of NC up to 2,000 ft. of elevation. It may grow 60 to 100 feet tall and spread 50-60 feet with a broad open rounded form. It is naturally found on poor upland mesic soils in much of eastern and central USA but also occasionally found along streams. It should be grown in full sun to part shade on well-drained, acidic, sandy loam, gravelly or clay loam soils. It is drought tolerant but will tolerate occasional flooding. 

Acorns need 2 years to mature as is the norm for red oaks. There are 2 different types of leaves and they are tan and downy on the undersides which contrast nicely with the dark lustrous green on top, especially in the wind.

Use this tree for shade in parks and residential areas. Its drought tolerance makes it especially useful as a street tree. The acorns attract a variety of birds and mammals and like other native oaks, it is a high-value wildlife plant.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  There is a large number of potential problems. Except for oak wilt, no pests or diseases are of major concern. Caterpillars can defoliate trees. Fall cankerworm has been a problem in some years. Banding the trees will help.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pagodifolia'
'Pagodifolia'
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#shade tree#poisonous#partial shade#bark#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#partial sun#native tree#moths#green flowers#tree#spring flowers#street tree#playground#small mammals#food source#cpp#low flammability#NC native#black bears#wild turkeys#deer resistant#acorns#wood peckers#crows#nighttime garden#children's garden#fire resistant#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#larval host plant#food source fall#food source spring#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#larval host tree#pollinator garden#problem for horses#audubon#moth larva#banded hairstreak butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#imperial moth#juvenal’s duskywing butterfly#edward’s hairstreak butterfly#white-m hairstreak butterfly#horace’s duskywing butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pagodifolia'
'Pagodifolia'
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#shade tree#poisonous#partial shade#bark#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#partial sun#native tree#moths#green flowers#tree#spring flowers#street tree#playground#small mammals#food source#cpp#low flammability#NC native#black bears#wild turkeys#deer resistant#acorns#wood peckers#crows#nighttime garden#children's garden#fire resistant#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#larval host plant#food source fall#food source spring#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#larval host tree#pollinator garden#problem for horses#audubon#moth larva#banded hairstreak butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#imperial moth#juvenal’s duskywing butterfly#edward’s hairstreak butterfly#white-m hairstreak butterfly#horace’s duskywing butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    falcata
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wood is used for general construction, food, furniture, shade and fuel. Native Americans ate the acorns and utilized the southern red oak in a variety of ways to treat illness.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    New Jersey to Florida west to southern Illinois, southern Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Found along the southeast from New Jersey to northern Florida and east along the gulf coast states into Texas.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Oak trees support a wide variety of Lepidopteran. You may see Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) larvae which have one brood per season and appear from April-October in the south. Adult Imperial Moths do not feed. Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus), which have one flight from June-August everywhere but Florida where they emerge April-May. Edward's Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii), has one flight from May-July in the south and June-July in the north. Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), has three to four flights in the south from February-November and two flights in the north from May-September. White-M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) has three broods in the north from February-October. Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) has three broods in Texas and the deep south from January-November, and two broods in the north from April-September. Juvenal’s Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis) has one brood from April-June, appearing as early as January in Florida. The acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue jays, white-breasted nuthatches, American crows, small mammals, wild turkey, white-tailed deer and black bear.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Shade
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Wildlife Nesting
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Moderately resistant to damage by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 60 ft. 0 in. - 100 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 50 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Oval to round acorn with a bowl-shaped cap that is warty with hairs and covers the top 1/3 of the nut. Acorns require two growing seasons to mature. The fruit is borne solitary or in pairs.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Flowers appear in spring in male catkins and in female clusters
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2 types of leaves are present. One has irregularly 3-5 shaped lobes that are bristle tipped with the terminal lobe being longest and a U-shaped base. One is pear-shaped with 3 rounded lobes towards the end. They are 5-9 inches long and 4-5 inches wide. They remain on the tree late into fall with insignificant reddish brown fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    With age, the thin, smooth light gray bark becomes dark gray in color with broad scaly ridges separated by deep, narrow furrows.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Orange
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Cluster of terminal buds
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Small branches have smooth medium gray bark while twigs are orange-brown, angular, and short-pubescent.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Poor Soil
    Wind
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Abdominal pain, constipation then diarrhea (occasionally bloody), depression, frequent urination, discolored urine, jaundice; acorns can obstruct the digestive tract
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Seeds