Oak Overview

Description 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.
Genus Name Quercus
Common Name Oak
Plant Type Tree
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 20 to 20 feet
Width 25 to 70 feet
Season Features Colorful Fall Foliage
Special Features Attracts Birds
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Propagation Seed, Stem Cuttings
Problem Solvers Good For Privacy, Slope/Erosion Control

More varieties for Oak

Quercus velutina

Black oak

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

Quercus macrocarpa

Bur oak

Quercus macrocarpa is among the most majestic of oaks. It's a strong, slow-growing tree native to areas of North America. It can reach 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Zones 3-9


English oak

Quercus robur is rugged tree with furrowed bark and dark green leaves. It grows 120 feet tall and 80 feet wide. Zones 5-8


Northern red oak

Quercus rubra offers good fall color (in shades of yellow and red) and grows 80 feet tall and 70 feet wide. It's native to areas of North America. Zones 5-9

Quercus palustris

Pin oak

Quercus palustris is another good pick for fall color with its green leaves that turn scarlet in fall. It's native to North America and grows 70 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Zones 4-8

Quercus acutissima

Sawtooth oak

Quercus acutissima is an Asian oak that bears long, toothed leaves. It grows 70 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9


Scarlet oak

Quercus coccinea bears elliptical leaves that turn a fiery red in fall. Its scaly gray bark is attractive, too. It's native to areas of North America. Zones 5-9

Tips to help pick and plant the perfect tree

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