Red Oak

Quercus rubra Fagaceae

Other names

Northern Red Oak

Growth habit


Native distribution

Native to the Finger Lakes Region, Nova Scotia to PA West to MN and IA


Dry to moist, but not wet. Adaptable to different soil types.


Keep moist. Float-test acorns. Keep the ones that sink, toss the rest. Sow in deep containers. Protect from rodents and squirrels.

Biocultural value

One of the most, if not the most ecologically important native tree to native insect communities.


Mundy Wildflower Garden, Jackson Grove, Houston and Grossman Ponds, Newman Meadow, Peterson Oak Grove, Schnee Oak Collection, Urban Tree Collection, Bald Hill and Caroline Pinnacles, Coy Glen, Edwards Lake Cliffs Preserve, Fischer Old-growth Forest, Slaterville 600, McLean Bogs, Ringwood Ponds, South Hill Swamp

Source of plant

Doug Goldman, Horticultural Associates, Prof. Beal, Weston Nurseries, Village Greenhouse, Schichtel's Nursery, Cornell Botanic Gardens, John Ewanicki, Smith Nursery Company, Edgewood Nursery, Lake County Nursery Inc.


Rounded habit in youth, in old age often becoming round-topped and symmetrical; relatively fast growing(can grow 2' per year over a 10 year period). Fall color russet-red to bright red. Plants 60-75' tall,40-50' wide, although can attain over 100' in height in the wild.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

fall color