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Red Oak

Scientific Name

Quercus rubra

Origin

The Red Oak, also known as the Northern Red Oak is widely distributed throughout most of the eastern U.S. and southeastern Canada.  It can be found as far north as Quebec and Nova Scotia, south to Mississippi and as far west as Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.     

Habitat

Can be found in a wide variety of areas. Most commonly found on lower to middle slopes, along ravines and in coves, and on valley floors. Prefers northern and eastern facing slopes in full sun and slightly acidic, sandy loam.     

Growth Nature

Mature Red Aaks can reach a height of 65 to 100 ft. and diameter of over 3 ft. They will begin to set fruit (acorns) at about 25 years of age, but heavy production of acorns generally begins around 50 years of age. 

Points of Interest

  • Important source of hardwood lumber.  Red Oak is close-grained, heavy and a very hard wood.

  • Used in cabinetry, paneling, interior finishing, veneer, furniture, flooring,   agricultural equipment, posts and as railway ties.

  • Provides great ground cover and nesting sites for birds and mammals. The leaves and young saplings are used as browse by deer, elk, moose and rabbits.  Acorns are eaten by numerous birds and mammals.

  • Eaten by Native Americans, they used to boil the acorns, leach them with ashes and soak them in water for days or bury them over the winter to remove bitter tannins. Some tribes used them for a variety of medicines.