The Red Oak tree, Quercus rubra, is a magnificent ornamental specimen, growing rapidly on fertile, sunny sites. Mature Red Oak trees tends to grow into a broad lollipop shape, with a clear trunk of about 8-10 metres, topped by a wide, rounded canopy. Quercus rubra's blood red autumn colour is second to none and the pale new leaves are a good counterpoint in spring. It isn't as shade tolerant as the native oaks and it really needs a deep, well drained, fertile soil to put on the best autumn display. However, it is a tough tree that will grow pretty much anywhere in Britain, as long as the drainage is good. Red Oak trees can reach a height of about 28 metres.
Browse our full range of oak trees or see our full variety of trees.
History & uses of Quercus rubra
Red Oak is native to the East Coast of North America, up to Nova Scotia. It is a good timber tree for quality indoor furniture and structural elements of houses, though it isn't used much for outdoor items because the open grain isn't very water resistant. It makes good firewood. It was introduced to Europe and Britain in the 1720's. Pigs and deer will eat the acorns. This tree's maximum height is not certain: almost all the old Red Oak trees in America were felled by the settlers, leaving only the really gnarled, misshapen trees that weren't seen as useful for timber.
General description of Red Oak trees:
Old botanical Names (No longer used): Quercus borealis, Quercus digitata.
Common Names: Red Oak, Champion Oak, Northern Red Oak
How Standard Trees are Measured:
All the standard trees we sell are graded their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level (basically, their trunk's waist measurement). They aren't measured by their height, which for the same variety can vary widely depending on growing conditions. So, a 6/8 standard has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8 centimetres and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10 centimetres. Red oak standards are therefore between 2.5 - 4 metres tall (on average) when they are lifted. Standard trees are the largest size that we deliver; you can also buy younger Red Oak plants here.