scarlet oak Fagaceae Quercus
Leaf: Alternate, simple, 3 to 7 inches long, oval in shape with very deep sinuses and bristle-tipped lobes, shiny green above, paler and generally hairless below but may have tufts in vein axils.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are borne on slender yellow-green catkins; females are borne on very short axilliary spikes, both appear with the leaves in spring.
Fruit: Acorns are 1/2 to 1 inch long, with the cap covering 1/2 of the nut, cap scales are shiny, somewhat resembling a varnished black oak cap, scales on edges of cap generally not loose; the tip of the acorn may have concentric rings or fine cracks; maturing in two years and ripening in the fall.
Twig: Moderately stout, red-brown with multiple terminal buds; buds reddish brown, plump, pointed, slightly angled, and covered with a light colored pubescence on the top half.
Bark: On young trees, gray-brown, with smooth streaks; later becoming darker and developing irregular broad ridges and narrow furrows especially near the base.
Form: A medium size tree reaching up to 80 feet tall with generally poor form, irregular crown, and many dead branches. A butt-swell is often noticeable, and often is useful in identification.
Looks like: pin oak - black oak - northern red oak - northern pin oak
Additional Range Information: Quercus coccinea is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting scarlet oak.
More Information: Fall Color - Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson