Northern Red Oak - <em>Quercus rubra</em> - Zone 3a -

Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra - Zone 3a

Red Oak is a large, moderately fast growing deciduous tree. The official tree of PEI is highly tolerant of urban conditions and high winds. Red Oak is capable of growing in a wide variety of soils and is widely used for landscaping purposes.

1-3 Feetin stock$15.00$0.00
10 x 1-3 Feetin stock$110.00$0.00
3-5 Feetin stock$25.00$0.00

The Tree

Northern Red Oak is native to the north-eastern and north-central regions of North America. It lives between 200 and 400 years, sometimes reaching 500 years. It reaches heights of 25 to 30 metres and in rare cases 50 meters; attaining trunk diameters up to 120 cm. Fast growing trees, in ideal conditions they are able to grow at a rate of 1 inch a year in diameter. Growing in the open without competition for sunlight Red Oaks can attain massive crown spreads of 20 metres. The bark of the Red Oak changes as it grows from a smooth dark grey to a lighter grey with shallow grooves running more or less continuously the length of the trunk. The tree grows best with significant sunlight, though the young tree is more tolerant of shade. They do well in almost all soil conditions, even capable of growing effectively in very shallow dry soils. In general, however, they prefer loose, slightly acidic soils. They are one of the last trees to drop their leaves and can hold on to them through the entire winter. The seeds take the form of acorns 12-25 mm long and of similar girth; these take 2 years to reach maturity.

Its Uses

The Red Oak is a very popular choice for landscaping. It is easy to grow in most conditions and is extremely tolerant of urban conditions such as air pollution and road salt.  The large crown spreads typical of the species make it an excellent shade tree. In the forest this tree provides food and habitats for many animals. The acorns once processed to remove the bitter tannins are also good for human consumption and formed an important part of many Native American diets; being used to produce oil, flour, and coffee.  Red Oak lumber is appreciated both for its durability and distinctive grain. As some of the most popular hardwood lumber in North America it is widely used for all manner of purposes including furniture, cabinetry, and flooring.

Height at maturity25 metres (80 feet)
Spacing9 meters (30 feet)
Hardiness zone3a
SoilLoose, slightly acidic
Sun / shadeFull sun
Average fruit weight
Fruit colorBrown
Years to bear fruit
Latin nameQuercus rubra
Average diameter of fruit12-25 mm
Also known asChampion Oak