=Habitat and Range.=--Growing impartially in a great variety of soils,
but not on wet lands.
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to divide west of Lake Superior.
Maine,--common, at least south of the central portions; New
Hampshire,--extending into Coos county, far north of the
White mountains; Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and
Connecticut,--common; probably in most parts of New England the most
common of the genus; found higher up the slopes of mountains than the
South to Tennessee, Virginia, and along mountain ranges to Georgia;
reported from Florida; west to Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, and
=Habit.=--The largest of the New England oaks, 50-85 feet high, with a
diameter of 2-6 feet above the swell of the roots; occasionally
attaining greater dimensions; trunk usually continuous to the top of the
tree, often heavily buttressed; point of branching higher than in the
white oak; branches large, less contorted, and rising at a sharper
angle, the lower sometimes horizontal; branchlets rather slender; head
extremely variable, in old trees with ample space for growth, open,
well-proportioned, and imposing; sometimes oblong in outline, wider near
the top, and sometimes symmetrically rounded, not so broad, however, as
the head of the white oak; conspicuous in summer by its bright green,
abundant foliage, which turns to dull purplish-red in autumn.
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk and lower parts of branches in old trees dark
gray, firmly, coarsely, and rather regularly ridged, smooth elsewhere;
in young trees greenish mottled gray, smooth throughout; season's shoots
at first green, taking a reddish tinge in autumn, marked with pale,
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds ovate, conical, sharp-pointed. Leaves
simple, alternate, 4-8 inches long, 3-5 inches broad, bright green
above, paler beneath, dull brown in autumn; outline oval or obovate,
sometimes scarcely distinguishable by the character of its lobing from
Q. tinctoria; in the typical form, lobes broadly triangular or oblong,
with parallel sides bristle-pointed; leafstalks short; stipules linear,
=Inflorescence.=--Earliest of the oaks, appearing in late April or early
May, when the leaves are half-grown; sterile catkins 3-5 inches long;
calyx mostly 4-lobed; lobes rounded; stamens mostly 4; anthers yellow:
pistillate flowers short-stemmed; calyx lobes mostly 3 or 4; stigmas
=Fruit.=--Maturing in the second year, single or in pairs, sessile or
short-stalked: cup sometimes turbinate, usually saucer-shaped with a
flat or rounded base, often contracted at the opening and surmounted by
a kind of border; scales closely imbricated, reddish-brown, more or less
downy, somewhat glossy, triangular-acute to obtuse, pubescent: acorn
nearly cylindrical or ovoid, tapering to a broad, rounded top.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; grows in all
well-drained soils, but prefers a rich, moist loam; more readily
obtainable than most of our oaks; in common with other trees of the
genus, nursery trees must be transplanted frequently to be moved with
safety; grows rapidly and is fairly free from disfiguring insects; the
oak-pruner occasionally lops off its twigs. When once established, it
grows as rapidly as the sugar maple, and is worthy of much more extended
use in street and landscape plantations. Propagated from the seed.
1. Winter buds.
2. Flowering branch.
3. Sterile flower.
4. Fertile flowers, side view.
5. Fruiting branch.
=Quercus coccinea, Wang.=
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