Northern Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Family Fagaceae

* 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'.

Natural History:
* Habitat: Oak-hickory forests.
* Range: Northeastern United States.
* Native.

* 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.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008