northern red oak Fagaceae Quercus
Leaf: Alternate, simple, 5 to 8 inches long, oblong in shape with 7 to 11 bristle-tipped lobes, sinuses extend 1/3 to 1/2 of the way to midvein, generally very uniform in shape, dull green to blue-green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males in yellow-green slender, hanging catkins, 2 to 4 inches long; females are borne on short axiliary spikes, appearing with the leaves in spring.
Fruit: Acorns are 3/4 to 1 inch long and nearly round; cap is flat and thick, covering about 1/4 or less of the acorn, resembling a beret; matures in 2 growing seasons, in late summer and fall.
Twig: Quite stout, red-brown and glabrous; terminal buds multiple, quite large, conical, and covered with red-brown, mostly hairless scales but terminal scales may bear some frosty pubescence.
Bark: On young stems, smooth; older bark develops wide, flat-topped ridges and shallow furrows. The shallow furrows form a pattern resembling ski tracts.
Form: A medium sized to large tree that reaches up to 90 feet tall, develops a short trunk and round crown when open grown, straight with a clear, long bole when grown with competition.
Looks like: cherrybark oak - black oak - scarlet oak - Shumard oak
Additional Range Information: Quercus rubra is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting northern red oak.
More Information: Fall Color - Wood - 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