Quercus rubra

red oak

Northern red oak

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © www.wikipedia.org - Ben Skála

  • © www.wikipedia.org - Mark Wagner

Outstanding Qualities

This picturesque and stately tree is one of the most magnificent oaks for the garden. Strong spreading branches and deep dark green foliage define the form and dominate the surrounding area. In fall the foliage turns rich red. This tree is very adaptable to tough urban conditions and is one of the faster growing oaks when young.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: round tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 20 ft. 0 in. (6.10 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 50 ft. 0 in. (15.24 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 40 ft. 0 in. (12.19 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established, but appreciates occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: This tree has a beautiful structure that is impressive year round. In fall the leaves turn a rich red.

Wildlife Associations: birds

Resistant to: slug, snail, deer

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Cornus alternifolia, Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’, Anemone nemorosa, Trillium ovatum, Camellia x williamsii ‘J. C. Williams’

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, red, yellow

Great Color Partners: burgundy, cream, green, white

Culture Notes
This oak prefers an open area with full sun to light or open shade with plenty of room to grow. Plant it in a location with well-drained soil, although it will tolerate sandy sites and clay if the drainage is adequate. Once established it is drought tolerant, although in prolonged dry weather it appreciates occasional watering. Little pruning is needed other than to remove dead, broken or poorly formed limbs.