QUERCUS RUBRA – OAK, NORTHERN RED
Red Oak is one of the most commonly planted large shade trees in America. It is widely adapted to many areas of the country, including the high plains and Rocky Mountains, tolerating pollution, drought and compacted soil fairly well. Best growing conditions are a well-drained soil with an acid pH. Chlorosis often develops if the soil pH is above about 7.5. Moderate tolerance to salt spray makes it a good choice for planting near the ocean but certainly not on the beach or along the beach road. Locate it at least several hundred feet back (preferably farther) from the direct spray from the ocean. It tolerates high soil salt concentrations (up to 8 mmhos/cm) originating from de-icing salt applications better than many other plants.
This is the state tree of Iowa and New Jersey. Trees are very tolerant of urban conditions and have survived and grow well along streets. The tree withstands city conditions well but not high pH soils. Despite this it is better in high pH soils than the chlorosis-susceptible Pin or Willow Oak. Moderately drought-tolerance in most soils, Red Oak is well-suited as a street tree and in other areas with at least fair soil. It recovers best when transplanted in the spring, not the fall. Trees produce an allelopathic chemical that retards growth of Sweetgum. Trees compartmentalize decay well.
Existing trees are often left near new homes and other buildings in new developments. Roots damaged by construction equipment decay quickly. This can leave the plant with few supporting roots in the years following construction despite a green canopy. The tree could fall over as a result. In addition, branches that are suddenly exposed to unlimited light when nearby trees are removed begin to grow rapidly. As a result, they could become too long and break. Keep them shortened with reduction cuts to help prevent breakage.
Wood weighs about 63 pounds per cubic foot. Oak wood is considered ring porous.