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Rounded and densely leafed, the oak is the archetypal shade tree and a stately presence in British and American history. Both oak leaf and acorn motifs have often appeared in the decorative arts. Most oaks grow to considerable heights, requiring plenty of space to spread their branches. Toothed oak leaves are leathery and distinctive; fall color varies from a dull yellow brown to fiery red to gold. Many species feature showy bark, either deeply furrowed or scaled. Oaks such as the Northern red oak, Kellogg oak, and coast live oak are native to the U.S. A number of species also grow in Mexico. A moist, organic-amended soil in full sun encourages most oaks to grow quickly to their full potential. Some species are sensitive to alkaline soil.
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Quercus velutina is a North American native featuring quick growth, dark brown bark, and dark green leaves that turn reddish-brown in autumn. It grows 100 feet tall and 80 feet wide. Zones 5-8