CRCCD – Northern Red Oak EcoR


Out of stock


Quercus rubra


Mature Height:  60 to 75 feet
Mature Width:  to 45 feet
Soil:  Acidic, Sandy loam, Well-drained
Moisture:  Average to Dry
Light:  Full Sun
Pests:  Spongy moth (syn. gypsy moth) in some years
Landscape Value:  Great as a shade tree or street tree. Supports a variety of wildlife, including birds, mammals, and pollinators like butterfly and moth caterpillars.

Fast-growing and long-lived (to 500 years) deciduous tree with a straight trunk, rounded to broad-spreading crown, and dense foliage.  The bark is striped with long, smooth plates separated by deep furrows. Leaves are dark green with 7-11 bristle-tipped lobes.  In autumn, leaves turn brownish-red to golden-orange.  Yellowish-green flowers appear in mid-to-late spring on separate male and female catkins.  Female flowers give rise to large brown or reddish-brown acorns (nuts) that take two years to develop and mature in October.  Abundant acorn crops may not occur until the tree reaches 40 years old. Yellowing of leaves may occur if soils are not sufficiently acidic, and susceptible to oak wilt disease.  Tolerates air pollution, wind, black walnut, compacted soil, clay soil, dry soil and some drought once established.  Acorns attract many birds and mammals, including blue jays, red-bellied woodpeckers, wild turkeys, grouse, squirrels, small rodents, deer, raccoons and black bears.  The “boom and bust” cycle of small mammal populations coincides with acorn production.  Leaves are a food source for dozens of butterfly and moth caterpillars as well as leaf beetles, treehoppers and leafhoppers.  Caterpillars supported by the trees are also an important food source for birds, especially when adults are feeding their nestlings. Larval host to Gray Hairstreak butterflies.

2 gallon pot, 18-24 inches tall

Photo credits:
Missouri Botanical Garden
Native Plant Trust (photo by Glenn Mittlehauser)