Southern Red Oak
The southern red oak is a tough tree that is well-suited to the urban environment due to its rapid rate of growth and its great adaptability to the pressures of city life.
Southern red oak
Simple, alternately arranged, deeply lobed, with 3 to 5 bristle-tipped lobes per leaf. The middle, terminal lobe is upright, while the outer lobes are frequently long, narrow, and sickle-shaped.
Male flowers are yellow-green, with some red, borne on long threadlike catkins*; females are reddish and borne on short spikes
Nearly globular*-shaped acorn, about 1/2 inch long with slightly hairy, saucer-shaped cup
Reddish brown in color, may be gray; pubescent* or glabrous*; multiple terminal buds are dark reddish brown
Thick, dark, brownish-black and deeply furrowed, with small, pebbly scales
Broad, open, well-rounded crown
Normally grows 70 to 80 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 2 to 3 feet
From southern New York (Long Island) south to central Florida and west to southern Missouri
Medium deciduous tree
The leaves turn to a variety of colors but typically a yellow-red brown in the fall
Grows best in dry, sandy, clay soils
Classified as intolerant or intermediately tolerant of shade
Black oak, northern red oak, turkey oak, cherrybark oak
Pests and Diseases
Highly susceptible to oak wilt caused by Ceratocystis fagacearum or heart rot fungi that is usually brought about with the onset of fire or tissue damage. Pests include acorn weevils, borers, and bark scarers.
The southern red oak contains tannins that are used in a process to cure leather.
The large size and solid root system of the tree make it useful in watershed protection.