northern red oak
Quercus rubra

Northern red oak is an eastern species capable of tolerating a range of sites. Generally, northern red oak is found on relatively moist sites with deep, rich soils. The wood of northern red oak commands high value. The species also provides acorns for wildlife and shade for suburban streets and lawns.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Northern red oak is used for flooring, furniture, cabinets, paneling, timbers, agricultural implements, handles, caskets, boats, pallets, slack cooperage, and millwork, fuel and pulpwood.


Wildlife Value
      Acorns are consumed by a variety of wildlife. Rabbits, deer, and moose browse on stems and foliage.
          Attracts: mice, voles, squirrels, deer, turkeys, water fowl and many other birds

Regeneration methods
      Northern red oak stump sprouts profusely and this helps greatly with regeneration. Intermediate in shade tolerance, northern red oak is suitable for shelterwood and group selection methods. The presence of red oak saplings in the understory is very important for successful regeneration. Competition should be removed. Fire may play an important role in successful regeneration.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
gypsy moth chewed leaves, defoliation
oak decline limb die back

Fun facts
Northern red oak is used for many wood products. Barrels made from northern red oak can not hold water as the wood does not form tyloses. Tyloses are often described as ballon-like swellings capable of clogging vascular cells.
Quercus: Latin name / rubra: red
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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.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu