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Quercus rubra

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Tree

Habit

Bushy

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Flower

Green in Spring

Foliage

Brown and Red in Autumn
Green in Spring and Summer

Fruit

Brown in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

Higher than 12 metres

Ultimate spread

wider than 8 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

red oak

Family

Fagaceae


Quercus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs, with entire, lobed or toothed leaves; flowers inconspicuous, followed by characteristic acorns; sometimes good autumn colour

Q. rubra is a fast-growing large deciduous tree with an open, spreading crown and broad leaves to 22cm in length, turning red or red-brown in autumn. Flowers greenish, inconspicuous

Other common names

  • American red oak
  • northern red oak

Synonym(s)

  • Quercus borealis

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in deep, fertile, well-drained soil. A fast growing spreading deciduous tree. Requires lime free soil

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid or Neutral
  • Sand, Clay or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sowing as soon as ripe, in a coldframe or grafting in mid-autumn or early winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds or Low Maintenance


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

May be attacked by aphids and gall wasps

Diseases

May be subject to oak wilt and powdery mildews