22 Red Oak
Image of the Tree You are Viewing

22 QR Red Oak 5-17-24
Basic Information about this tree

Scientific Name, Family: Quercus Rubra

Common Names:Northern Red Oak, Red Oak

Native: Native to Minnesota


Image of the tree you are viewing: GPS Coordinates 45.00318 N  92.90343W

Condition and age guess of the tree you are viewingGood and ~50 years old.

Branch Structure: The red oak is one of the faster growing oaks. They grow tall and straight with a clear trunk and narrow crown.

Typical height and width at maturity: 50-75 ft tall by 40-65 ft wide

Typical longevity: 300 to 500 years.

Soil, water, sunlight preferences:  Prefers to be grown in acidic, moist, well-drained soils. It does best in sandy, loam soils. Red oak will tolerate alkaline, dry, and clay soils. Grows best in areas of full sun, but moderate shade is tolerated.

Leaf Details: Leaves are simple and grow alternately on the stem often 5″ to 9″ in length. They are divided into seven to nine lobes, each extending halfway to the midrib. Each lobe is somewhat coarsely toothed and bristle tipped. They are dull green above and paler green below, often turning a brilliant red in fall.

Flowering and Pollination Mechanism: Monoecious, wind-pollinated, and self-incompatible, meaning that individual flowers can be either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant. Pollination occurs in the first growing season, but fertilization and acorn maturation occur during the second growing season.

Root Structure: Usually has a deep, spreading root system. When it is on deep soils it develops a taproot.

Mature Tree in Winter/ Summer

placeholder +
21 Red oak summer tree

Leaves in Summer / Fall

21 Red oak summer leaf
21 Red oak fall leaves

Flowers - Female & Male -separate Trees

21 Red oak female buds
21 Red oak male catkins

Acorns unripe / Ripe

21 Red oak acorns green
21 Red oak acorns ripe

Bark of Mature Tree / root system sketch

21 Red oak bark
placeholder +

Uses in Traditional and Modern Eras

Value for wildlife: Acorns are an important winter food source for squirrels, deer, wild turkeys, and several songbirds.

Utility for Humans: The red oak makes a fantastic shade tree that is well suited for lawns, parks, and natural areas. The wood is excellent. Northern red oak is an important source of hardwood lumber. The wood is close-grained, heavy, and hard; it machines well and accepts a variety of finishes. It is used for furniture, veneer, interior finishing, cabinets, paneling, and flooring as well as for agricultural implements, posts, and railway ties. 

Traditional uses in Native American Tree Medicine (historical):

Homeowner’s Corner:

Generally, red oak is a long-lived and durable tree. However, this tree is highly susceptible to oak wilt. 

Do not prune this species if the timing falls within oak wilt season (especially April-June). It is not recommended to plant this species in an area of high oak wilt concentration. Potential insect pests include carpenter worms, timber beetle, red oak borer, and chestnut borer. The most destructive is the gypsy moth that defoliates the trees. Nut weevils, filbert worms, and acorn moths cause damage to the acorns. 

Links & References

Scroll to Top