Landowner Fact Sheets

southern red oak Quercus falcata

Southern red oak is one of the more common upland oaks growing the U.S. southeast. It provides useful timber, acorns for wildlife, and urban utility as a shade or street tree.

range map Click to see more images. fall color wood grain

Southern red oak's intermediate shade tolerance allows for regeneration by the shelterwood method. Prompt removal of the overstory and dense stocking will help avoid stagnation and quality-reducing epicormic sprouting.

Southern red oak is very commonly found on dry Piedmont soils, but may also be found on bottoms and on the coastal plain.


A medium sized tree up to 90 feet tall with a rounded crown.

Timber Value
Southern red oak is used for construction lumber, furniture, interior finish, veneers, railroad ties, fuelwood, and chemical extracts.

Wildlife Value
Acorns are an important part of the diet of many wildlife species.
Attracts squirrels, raccoons, deer, turkeys, woodpeckers, nuthatch, grackles

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
Young sprouts often have very pubescent twigs and very shallowly lobed leaves - it can look like a different species. The wood is strong but tends to be coarse-grained so its uses are primarily for rough lumber products.

Latin Meaning
Quercus: Latin name / falcata: sickle-shaped (leaves)

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.