Boone County Arboretum
9190 Camp Ernst Road
Union, Kentucky 41091
Phone: (859) 384-4999
Fax: (859) 384-6888

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Cultural Details for Quercus rubra

Common Name:
Northern Red Oak

Growth Rate:
Fast growth, especially for oaks. Typically around 1' per year, but can grow up to 2' per year in moist, well-drained soil.

Average Mature Height:

Average Mature Width:

Flower Details:
Monoecious, male in pale yellow-green catkins, females greenish borne on short spikes in new leaf axils, May

Fruit Details:
Nut, solitary or paired, 0.75-1" long, variable in shape, but usually subglobose, enclosed at the base in a flat, thick, saucer-like cap, acorns mature in two years and fall early, nut is medium brown with grayish streaks.

Fall Color:
Usually not much more than yellow-brown, but occassionally can be russet-red to bright red

Bark Details:
On young bark, distinct flat gray areas intermingled with ridged-and-furrowed areas. Old trunks are brown to nearly black and broken up into wide, flat-topped, gray ridges, separated by shallow fissures. Very old trees are often deeply ridged-and-furrowed

Disease / Insect Problems or Resistance:
Basically free of problems, though mild cases of typical oak diseases may develop.

Native Habitat:
Nova Scotia to Pennsylvania, west to Minnesota and Iowa. Introduced 1800

Other Features:
Oaks hybridize freely and there are abundant hybrids evident in landscapes and the wild. Red and Black Oak are associated in the wild and hybrids frequently occur.

Culture and Care:
Transplants readily, prefers well-drained, sandy loam, acid soils and full sun. Will develop chlorosis in high pH soils.

This plant was blooming:

Plantings of this cultivar at Boone County Arboretum:
362, 1169, 1170, 2537, 2570, 2580, 8611, 8627

    The information on this page may have come from one or more of the following sources:
  • Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Stipes Publishing. 1998.
  • Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. John Wiley & Sons. 1988.
  • North Carolina Extension Plant Fact Sheets.
  • University of Connecticut Plant Database.