Red Oak is a major timber tree of the eastern and Midwestern United States. The tough, heavy wood of Red Oak has a reddish-orange coloration, and is an important hardwood for the Ohio timber industry, involved in the production of beams, railroad ties, furniture, flooring, and other usages.
Along with Pin Oak, it is also one of the few oaks that is an important shade tree in the landscape industry, noted for its brick-red autumn color and its rapid and vigorous growth rate. It is also known as Northern Red Oak (since there is also a Southern Red Oak of the southern United States), and may be found cited in older literature by its previous scientific name of Quercus borealis. Its large acorns mature earlier in the season than those of most other Oaks, thus providing a source of food by late summer and throughout autumn and winter for many forms of wildlife.
Reaching 60 feet tall by 70 feet wide when found in the open under urban landscape conditions, it may grow taller and more massive in the wild. As the flagship member of the Red Oak group and as a member of the Beech Family, it is related to the Beeches, Chestnuts, and other Oaks.
Planting Requirements - Red Oak prefers moist, deep, rich, well-drained soils of slightly acidic pH. It adapts readily to dry soils of acidic, neutral, or slightly alkaline pH (some specimens develop chlorosis in high pH soils). It thrives in full sun to partial sun (but is shade tolerant in youth), and is found in zones 3 to 7
Potential Problems - Other than cosmetic blemishes on its dark green foliage due to minor insect feeding, Red Oak is basically problem-free, although it may on occasion be subject to the standard army of pests and pathogens that afflict the Oaks.