Botanical Name: Quercus rubra
Common Name: Red Oak
Nativity: NE. & NC. North America
Location: CNE, CSE
Notable Feature: The Northern Red Oak has been called “one of the handsomest, cleanest, and stateliest trees in North America” by naturalist Joseph S. Illick, and it is widely considered a national treasure. It is especially valued for its adaptability and usefulness, including its hardiness in urban settings.
Habit: A medium- to large-sized, deciduous tree with a rounded to broad-spreading, often irregular crown. Typically grows at a moderate-to-fast rate to a height of 50 to 75 feet with an equal spread.
Flower: Ornamentally insignificant yellowish green flowers are borne in separate (monoecious) male and female catkins and appear in spring as the leaves emerge.
Fruit: Acorn, 1” long, broad-rounded, and borne solitarily or paired with a shallow disk-like cap. Matures in early fall.
Foliage: Leathery, lustrous dark green leaves (grayish white beneath) with 7 to 11, bristle-tipped lobes. Alternate, 5 to 8 inches long, and oblong in shape. Leaves turn brownish red in autumn and may remain on the tree well into winter.
Bark: On young stems, smooth; older bark develops wide, flat-topped ridges and shallow furrows. The shallow furrows form a pattern resembling ski tracts.
Interesting Fact: The only tree with striping down the entire trunk, has great value as lumber, veneer, and as food for wildlife. Withstands polluted urban air.