Quercus rubra

Common name: Red Oak

Native plant

Red Oak is one of the most shade tolerant of the oaks, making it a good choice to grow under existing trees. A few hours of sun per day is all it needs to grow. Although I have seen this tree used as a street tree, it does much better in good garden soil and light shade. Fall color is an outstanding red. Many authorities state that Red Oak is one of the fastest growing oaks. We have found it to grow no faster than Bur, Swamp White, or Chinquapin. Those of you who have big Red Oaks in your yards should check to see if they are hollow. Most of them are! We are seeing a general decline of the large Red Oaks in the Chicago area due to old age. The Red Oak family tends to live to 125 years + or - 25. The White Oak family tends to live 150 years + or - 25.

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Woodies- Standard Tree
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Plant Details

Plant type


Soil type

Dry Mesic, Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic

Light exposure

Full Sun, Partial Sun / Part Shade

Bloom period


Urban environment

Yards that Flood


Sandy Soils, Savannas, Woodlands

Growth form

Single trunk

Growth rate


Flower color

Yellowish Catkin

Fall color



Mature height
50 Feet
Mature width
40 Feet
Max height
80 Feet
Max width
80 Feet

Additional information

Butterfly host plant Loved by birds

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