Quercus_coccinea_lvScarlet oak is a long-lived deciduous tree belong to the oak family, Fagaceae, that also includes beeches and chestnuts. It is native to central and Eastern US where it grows well in forests or woodlands with sandy, acidic, medium dry soil. The upright open growing tree has wide spreading branches growing from a quickly tapering trunk that has gray to black ridged, scaly bark. The alternate leaves are bright red when they emerge in spring and turn bright green in the summer before turning scarlet in the fall. They are hairless, three to seven inches long by two to four inches wide, and are deeply cut with seven (rarely nine) pointed bristle tipped lobes. Non-showy yellowish-green male and female flowers appear in spring with the leaves on the same tree. The male flowers are in pendulous catkins while the female flowers are solitary or clusters. In the fall the female flowers produce ½ -1 inch long reddish-brown ovoid acorns with deep cups covering about one third of the nut. Scarlet oak is considered a good shade tree and an attractive ornamental for both its fall coloration and the winter interest created by the design of the  branches. It is difficult to transplant and not readily available in the nursery trade.

Quercus_coccinea frType: Deciduous tree

Outstanding Feature: Autumn coloration, winter design

Form: Loosely pyramidal in youth maturing to oval with irregular canopy

Growth Rate: Rapid

Bloom: Non-showy male flowers in catkins, and female flowers singly or in clusters, in spring when leaves emerge

Size: 50-80’ H x 40-65’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average, medium dry, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Care: Prune in winter when young to establish good framework

Pests and Diseases: Generally healthy but susceptible to scale, caterpillars, leaf spot, anthracnose, canker, mildew, rust, wilts, rots, and galls.

By Karen