Red Oak - Quercus rubra
Northern Red Oak or commonly known as the red oak is a medium sized tree. This is a tree that grows at a moderate-to-fast rate and can grow up to 2ft every year. Red oaks typically bloom in the months of April - May. They are a low maintenance tree that prefers fertile, sandy, finely-textured soils with good drainage. The bark is dark gray or black with broad, thin, scaly rounded ridges. Red oaks appear to have shiny stripes down the center of them all the way down the trunk. This makes red oaks easy to recognize. It grows dark, lustrous green leaves with a grayish-white bottom. The leaves have a growth rate of 10 inches wide and 7 inches wide. Its leaves are tooth lobed and sharply pointed at the tips and displays bristle tips. They generally have growths on the tips of them that resemble stiff hairs. The red oak has brilliant fall foliage as the leaves turn bright brick red and tend to hold their color much longer than any other deciduous tree. The trees grow acorns that are flat, saucer-shaped cups and are about 15-30 cm long and do not mature till the second year. They are borne singly or in clusters of 2-5. Generally, the red oak first bears fruit at about 20-25 years old but may not produce an abundance of acorns before the tree reaches 40-50 years old. Most parks and campuses use them for shade as well as private lawns where space is sufficient. A wide variety of birds and mammals also use them for coverage and great nesting sites.