Northern red oak, aka Quercus rubra, is one of North America's most impressive oaks, which is saying quite a lot as North America is truly blessed with the variety and quality of its oak trees. Northern red oak has handsome dark green, sharply lobed leaves which turn attractive shades of red, yellow and mahogany before falling in autumn. This mighty tree is also quite adaptable to most conditions, including urban and industrial, though it does prefer acidic soil. And it’s noted for its rapid growth rate and will reach a height of 60 to 70 feet and a spread of 40 to 60 feet when open-grown. And in rich woodland areas it will grow to 90 feet tall. Garden grown trees form a majestic, spreading crown making the Northern red oak one of the premier shade trees, as well as a superior park or boulevard tree. And it’s wildlife friendly providing habitat and food. Northern red oak is obviously not a tree for the small property. It's better suited to the country and to parks and large common areas where it makes a striking contribution to the landscape. It requires little, if any, pruning and is largely pest and disease free. It grows successfully in sun or part shade, in lime-free soil that is well drained. It can tolerate drought and sea side conditions as well as rocky, poor soils. Northern red oak thrives across most of the US, southern Canada, the UK, temperate Australia and New Zealand.

There is also a stunning cultivar called Golden Northern red oak, or Quercus rubra ‘Aurea’.


Northern red oak

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