Northern Red Oak
* Leaves hairless, dull above, with bristle-tipped lobes.
* Like all oaks, red oak has clustered end buds.
* Acorn egg-shaped, with less than 1/3 covered by the flat, saucerlike
cup. Cup covered by reddish-brown, tightly overlapping scales.
* Bark dark, furrowed, with broad, shiny strips.
* Height: 70-80'.
* Habitat: Oak-hickory forests.
* Range: Northeastern United States.
* Indians often included acorns in their diets. They removed the natural
acids by grinding and washing the acorns in hot water.
* In Anglo-Saxon England, oak forests were grown for the purpose
of fattening swine, who fed upon the acorns. Since swine (and
fat ones) were much prized by the Anglo-Saxons, there was a heavy
fine for injuring or destroying the oaks.
* Among oak buffs (not to be confused with a well-known metropolis
on Martha's Vineyard), red and black oaks are extremely difficult
to distinguish. Their leaves are very similar, with many pointed
lobes. The best way to tell these trees apart is to look for
acorns; black oak acorns are nearly
half covered with feathery-scaled cups, while red oak acorns
are flat, with tight reddish scales.