Red Oak

=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 Engla
d the most

common of the genus; found higher up the slopes of mountains than the

white oak.

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,

scattered dots.

=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,

soon falling.

=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

long, spreading.

=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.=