Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

[ Trees > Hardwoods > Oaks . . . ]      Forest Type: Oak-Hickory


Acorns encased only near the base, in a cup with pressed-down scales; buds small, smooth, reddish; leaves lobed, with bristle tips, with sinuses extending about halfway, with fairly smooth undersides; bark with a striped appearance from a distance; growing in eastern North America.

by Michael Kuo

Note: The red oaks (those with bristle-tipped leaves) of eastern North America are notoriously difficult to separate--a task compounded by the fact that the trees often hybridize in nature.

Habitat: Able to grow in dry or moist soil; often in mixed stands; east of the Great Plains.

Stature: 60-100 feet high (or larger); to 4 feet in diameter; with a broad, rounded crown.

Leaves: With bristle tips; 5-9 inches long; with 7-11 lobes; sinuses extending about halfway to the midrib; often dull (not shiny) on the upper surface; dark green above; lighter green and smooth (except for a few hairs near the ribs) below.

Bark: Dark gray to black; thick; often furrowed and with wide, flat, paler ridges in age; from a distance often appearing striped.

Acorns: Bitter; to 1 inch long; enclosed at the base, or to 1/3 of the length, in a shallow cup with pressed-down scales (the tips of the scales are not "free"); appearing every two years.

Buds: About 1/3 inch long; smooth and shiny, or with a few small hairs near the scales; reddish brown.

(References consulted)

Frequent Mushroom Associates:

Cortinarius torvus; Inonotus dryadeus; Laetiporus cincinnatus; Leccinum albellum; Leccinum subglabripes; R. tenuiceps; and many others.


Quercus rubra

Quercus rubra

Quercus rubra

Quercus rubra

Quercus rubra

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Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2005, September). Northern red oak (Quercus rubra). Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: