Red Oak

Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
This mighty tree stands tall and proud in the Grove Street Cemetary. The red oak, ever regal, outshines all the trees near it.
Rebecca Schapiro, Asantewa Franklin, and Heather Wang
Collected Data
Tree shape: 
Date of tree entry: 
15.36 m
Diameter at breast height: 
0.52 m

dark reddish grey brown, with broad, thin, rounded ridges, scaly
Twigs & branches
Branches are stout, and grow at right angles to the stem. They form a narrow round-topped head.
The leaves are alternate. There are 7-11 toothed lobes which are sharply pointed at the tips. They are oblong-ovate to oblong, 5-10 inches long, and 4-6 inches broad.
Reproductive Structures
The northern red oak is monoecious, producing male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers on the same tree. Male flowers are arranged in drooping yellowish green catkins about 2-4” long, which occur in groups of 3. They consist of several stamens and a calyx that are partially hidden by hairy bractlets (modified leaf or leaflike part). Individual female flowers are produced either individually or in clusters of 2-5. They’re ovoid, and consist of an ovary with recurved stigmas surrounded by a form-fitting calyx. Underneath each female flowers are several bractlets. The red oak blooms mid-spring to late-spring. After blooming, fertile female flowers are replaced by acorns that take 2 years to develop.
The acorns are round, 0.75-1” long with a flat, thick, saucer-like cap. The kernel is very bitter, but it’s still eaten by deer, squirrels, and birds. The acorns grow for 2 years on the tree before it finishes developing.
  • Spring
  • Summer
The Red Oak is native to North America, in the eastern and central US and southease and south-central Canada. Where it grows, the mean annual precipitation varies from 760 mm in the Northwest to about 2030 mm in the southern Appalachians. Annual snowfall ranges from 0-254 cm. Mean annual temperature is about 4-16 deg C. The frost-free period averages 100 days in the North and 220 days in the South
Origin, history, and uses: 

The red oak was first transplanted in Europe in Bishop Compton’s garden, near Fulham in England. The tree is often used as a specimen tree; it is grown in parks and large gardens. It can also be used as a street tree, or lawn tree. The tree is also used for timber production in North America. Quality red oak is of high value as lumber and veneer, and defective logs are used as firewood.

The red oak is a deciduous tree. Its leaves change color in the fall, and can turn a brilliant red color before the leaves fall off.
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