Quercus rubra

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Quercus rubra - Northern Red Oak, Red Oak
Common name: Northern Red Oak, Red Oak
Family: Fagaceae (Beech)
Synonym: Quercus borealis
Distribution: SE Canada to NC and E USA
Habitat: Rich, mesic woods, sandy plains, rock outcrops, stable interdunes, outer edges of floodplains
Hardiness: -30 - 20 F
Life form: Deciduous tree
Bloom Time: May
Attracts: Birds
Fall color: Brown-red
Foliage characteristics: Simple, alternate leaves with 7-11 sharply pointed lobes. Green on top and gray-white beneath. 4-10" long.
Fruit characteristics: Acorns which have flat, saucer-shaped cups. Grow singularly or in groups of 2-5. Mature in early fall.
Bark characteristics: Dark gray bark with hard scaly ridges.
Average height: 50-75'
Structure: Rounded, irregular
Bloom characteristics: Yellow-green male and female catkins.
Ethnobotanical uses: Various Native Americans processed acorns for food.
Medicinal/pharmaceutical: Some Native Americans used bark of this tree to treat bowel problems, heart problems, bronchial infections, or as an astringent, disinfectant, or cleanser.
Description: The acorns of the red oak were an important food source for Native American tribes in the tree’s growing region. As with all acorns, they would first have to be processed to remove tannins. Medicines were also made from the bark. Now, red oak is a popular shade tree in eastern North America and parts of Europe.
Links: Missouri Botanical Garden Plant FinderUS Forest Service Fact SheetUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Service


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