Quercus rubra Fagaceae
Red Oak KWER-kus RU-bra
- Broadleaf deciduous tree, 60-75 ft (15-23 m), rounded, ascending, usually massive branches, tends to
branch close to the ground. Leaves alternate, simple, base wedge shaped or sometimes rounded,
7-11 lobes, with several bristle-tipped teeth on the upper lobes, upper surface dull, yellowish-green,
lower suface paler with tufts of hairs in the vein axils; new leaves reddish in spring, fall color from
yellow-brown (often) to russet-red and bright red (rare). Male (pollen) flowers are in catkins that
develop from leaf axils of the previous year and appear in the spring with or before the leaves.
Female (seed) flowers develop in spikes in the axils of the current year's leaves. Acorn 2-2.5 cm long, enclosed at the
base in a flat, thick, scaley, saucer-like cup. One author remarked that red oak "has no cup,
it has a saucer"; the acorn matures in 2 years.
- Sun. Transplants readily because of negligible taproot. Best in sandy loam soils which are well drained and on the acid side. Withstands polluted air. Fairly fast growing, 60 cm per year (Dirr, p. 703).
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native from Nova Scotia to Pennsylvania, west to Minnesota and Iowa. The State Tree of New Jersey.
- rubra: Latin, red.
- Corvallis: NE area of Cental Park, near Monroe Ave. and 6th St.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: there was a large, fine specimen on the east side of the MU Quad, but it fell
over in August, 2012. Two on the west side of the Quad.