Red Oak
Quercus rubra

Location in Ontario
Red Oak grows throughout the Deciduous Forest Region and northward. It grows on a variety of soils.


Red Oak, Rondeau Provincial Park
 
Genus Quercus
The ten Oaks of Southern Ontario are divided into two categories. Red Oaks have lobed leaves which are pointed and acorns (seeds) that develop over two years. White Oaks have leaves with rounded lobes or simple leaves with sharp teeth and acorns (seeds) that develop over one year. Acorns are a one-seeded nut with a tough shell, and a scaly cap which attaches to the tree. Often, Oak leaves stay on the tree over winter. Oak leaves on the ground are slow to decay, as this is a survival strategy to prevent the growth of other plants nearby. Oaks are monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Oak is a favoured wood for flooring and furniture.



8 Oaks of University of Guelph Arboretum L to R: Shumard, Hill's, Bur, Chinquapin, Dwarf Chinquapin, Red, Swamp White, White. Missing: Black Oak and Pin Oak

In the Landscape
Red Oak is a medium to large sized tree reaching up to 30 metres and can live from 200 to 400 years! Red Oaks are beautiful, with fast growth. The leaves turn a brilliant red in the fall. The leaves do not decay readily and will persist under the tree along with acorns.


Red Oak Rondeau Provincial Park

Leaves
The leaves have 7-9 lobes, with rounded notches. Leaves turn scarlet in the fall.
Bark
The bark has long pale gray ridges, with a "striped" appearance.
Flowers: Red Oak is monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Female flowers can occur singly or in clusters, while male flowers occur in catkins. Flowers appear with the leaves and are wind pollinated.
Fruit
Good seed crops happen every 3 to 5 years, after 25 years of growth. Acorns stay on the tree for two years as they develop.

Wood
Red Oak wood is hard and heavy. It has a beautiful grain and is used for furniture and flooring.
Specific gravity: 0.52
Janka Hardness: 1290 lb
Wood Comparison Chart


Red Oaks, Norfolk County

Link to United States Forest Service Silvics Manual for Red Oak.

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