Quercus rubra

Northern Red Oak

Classically handsome and known for its impressive fall color, long lifespan, value to wildlife, and its adaptability and hardiness in urban settings.

  • Tolerates: Drought, Dry soil, Black walnut, Air pollution
  • Sun: Full Sun
  • Bloom Season: May
  • Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Spread (Min): 50
  • Spread (Max): 75
  • Height (Min): 50
  • Height (Max): 75
  • Leaves vs Needles: Shade
  • Size: Large


The Northern Red Oak is a classic, sophisticated tree that makes a bold statement in a large yard. The leaves are handsome throughout the year, emerging pinkish-red, turning lustrous dark green in summer, and changing to russet-red to bright red in autumn. Fruits are acorns (with flat, saucer-shaped cups) which mature in early fall, but don’t expect an abundant crop of acorns before this tree reaches 40 years old. It’s long-lived and has a stately presence that only gets better with age. The roots can tolerate compacted soil, so this is the right tree for new construction. It is also tolerant of urban pollution, and relatively tolerant of salt (for our coastal friends), drought, dry soil, and black walnut. Look for a sunny spot with well drained soil and enjoy the wildlife and visual splendor of the Northern Red Oak for many years!