Red oak

Silhouette - red oak
  • Latin name: Quercus rubra L.
  • French name: Chêne rouge
  • Synonym(s): Northern red oak
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 19408
  • NA4 , C3
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf - red oak

Form

  • Base broadly wedge-shaped
  • 7–9 lobes
  • Each lobe tapered from base to tip
  • Separated by rounded notches
  • Lower surface has tufts of hairs in vein axils

Length

  • 10–20 cm
  • Central lobe about as long as the width of the leaf between opposite notches

Colour

  • Upper surface dull yellowish-green
  • Lower surface paler

Margin

  • Several bristle-tipped teeth on the larger lobes
  • Leaves on young trees toothed rather than lobed

Petiole

  • Stout
  • 1–3 mm wide, 2.5–5 cm long

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - red oak

Form

  • Terminal bud ovoid, pointed
  • Mostly hairless
  • A few hairs at the tip

Length

  • 6–8 mm

Colour

  • Shiny reddish-brown
  • Hairs brownish

 

Twigs

  • Winter twig with 1-year-old acorn - red oak

Form

  • Moderately stout

Colour

  • Reddish brown

Flowers

Form

  • Pollen flowers small
  • In many-flowered drooping catkins
  • Seed flowers small
  • Solitary or in few-flowered clusters (spikes)

Structure

  • Monoecious

Floral timing

  • With the leaves

Fruits

  • Acorn - red oak

Form

  • Acorns short-stalked
  • Cup saucer-shaped enclosing about one-quarter of the nut
  • Scales thin, hairless

Length

  • Acorns 12–25 mm

Width

  • Acorns almost as wide as long
  • Cup 15–25 mm

Colour

  • Cup reddish-brown

Structure

  • 1-seeded nut

Bark

Form

  • Smooth when young, becoming grooved
  • Wide, shallow furrows
  • Ridges flattish, mostly unbroken, continuous

Colour

  • Dark grey when young, becoming darker with pale grey ridges
  • Inner bark pinkish

Wood

Texture

  • Porous
  • Not durable in moist sites

Colour

  • Pink to reddish-brown

Morphology

  • Attractive grain

Size

Height

  • To 25 m
  • Occasionally over 30 m
  • Stunted on dry rocky ridges toward its northern range limit

Diameter

  • 30–90 cm
  • Occasionally over 120 cm

Maximum age

  • 150 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - red oak

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Straight

Crown

  • Symmetrically rounded

Root system

  • Deep, spreading
  • With a taproot on deep soils

Habitat

Light tolerance

  • Intolerant of competition and shade
  • Moderately shade-tolerant when young

Associated species

  • Other broadleaf trees and eastern white pine
Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Red oak
  • Red oak
  • Red oak
  • Red oak
  • Red oak
  • Red oak
  • Red oak
Distribution map
Distribution map - red oak
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