The Northern Red Oak is fascinating due to its robust geographical spread. It hs able to live in hardiness zones 3-8 (see attachment). The Northern Red Oak is found ubiquitously throughout the Northeast, Midwest, West, and even the warmer climates of the Southeast -- all the way down to Alabama, Mississippi, and some parts of Florida. Habitats include upland woodlands, floodplain woodlands, north- and east-facing slopes, sandy woodlands, savannahs, and riverbanks.
Origin, history, and uses:
Historically, the acrons of oak species were an important source of food for Native American tribes. The bark of the Northern Red Oak was often used as a medicine to treat infections.
The Northern Red Oak sees a wide range of uses across many sectors. In industry it is an important source of hardwood lumber due to its close-grain, weight, and hardiness. Lumber derived from the Northern Red Oak often ends up in furniture, flooring, and cabinets due to its ability to withstand many types of finishes.
The Northern Red Oak is a deciduous tree and therefore loses its leaves every winter. During the spring new flowers, both male and female, are produced on the same branch. The male string-like clusters (catkins) grow 1.5 to 3 inches long. The bright red styles of the female flowers, usually in clusters of 3, are quite identifiable. During the warmer months over the summer the leaves grow to reach full size - 4-8 inches in length and 4-6 inches in diameter. During the fall they Northern Red Oak produces beautiful red foliage -- by which it attained its name.