Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

Terminology | Pictorial

Quercus rubra
Northern Red Oak
Fabaceae (Oak Family)

A large tree with rounded crown of stout, spreading branches, growing to a height of 18 - 27 m and a diameter of 0.3 - 0.8 m.


Northern Red Oak Distinguishing Features - Leaves: 10 - 23 cm long, elliptical; usually divided less than halfway to midvein into 7 to 11 shallow wavy lobes with a few irregular bristle-tipped teeth; usually dull green above, dull light green beneath with tufts of hairs in angles along midvein; turning brown or dark red in fall. Bark: dark gray or blackish; rough, furrowed into scaly ridges; inner bark reddish. Acorns: 1.5 - 2.8 cm long, egg-shaped, less than 1/3 enclosed by broad cup of reddish-brown, blunt, tightly overlapping scales; maturing second year.


Western Ontario to Cape Breton Island, south to Georgia, west to E. Oklahoma, and north Minnesota; prefers moist, loamy, sandy, rocky, and clay soil conditions; often forming pure stands.


The Northern Red Oak is an important lumber species. It is used for flooring, furniture and millwork.

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