Red Oak: Meaning and use

The Red Oak originates from North America and is the symbol tree of the state of New Jersey.

4159Arbre13420%FR OakRed Oak - Gourin Forest (56) Gourin Forest 56
Red Oak DKK 134
Age: 2 to 4 years old
Gourin Forest
Morbihan, Brittany, France
3959Arbre13420%FR OakRed Oak - Launay Guen Forest (22) Launay Guen Forest 22
Red Oak DKK 134
Age: 0 to 2 years old
Launay Guen Forest
Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany, France

Red Oak

Introduced to Europe in 1724, the Red Oak has become a popular choice for city streets due to its strong resistance to pollution. Its properties, robustness, and fast growth make it an increasingly valued species among foresters. The Red Oak's qualities are becoming more widely recognised and appreciated in forestry.

Why does EcoTree plant Red Oaks?

EcoTree plants Red Oak because they are much more resistant to drought than Sessile and Pedunculate Oaks, which is one of the advantages of this species. Furthermore, Red Oak maintains a higher level of photosynthetic activity than other oaks.

Red Oak - Overview

Red Oak - Overview

The Red Oak(Quercus Rubra) has often been overshadowed by native Oaks and confused with the swamp Oak, limiting its introduction and the recognition of its qualities.

The Red Oak, native to North America, is a fast-growing tree that can easily reach 20 to 30 meters in height. Its trunk has smooth, silver-grey bark that becomes shallowly cracked with age. The branches are smooth and hairless, initially greenish-red, then turning grey with small, thick brown lenticels.

Its large, alternate leaves are soft and hairless on both sides, with five to seven pointed lobes separated by wide, rounded sinuses that reach about halfway into the leaf. These deciduous leaves turn red in autumn, often staying on the tree well into winter, giving the Oak its name.

In spring, the tree blooms on new branches. The male flowers are long, yellow-hanging catkins, while the female flowers are small, oval, and red. The fruits are small, fuzzy acorns that turn from green to brown and take two years to mature. They are a food source for Virginia deer, rodents, and birds. The acorn production of this Oak species is very abundant, which can make it invasive in certain conditions.
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Red Oak

Red Oak - Species requirements

The Red Oak is well-suited for acidic soils and rich, hydromorphic sites, thriving particularly well in clay soils. However, avoid planting young trees in chalky soil, as they are sensitive to excess water and limestone. The best time to plant red oaks is in autumn or spring, ensuring their roots grow deep and spread out in optimal conditions.

This resilient tree prefers sunny to semi-shady locations. It can withstand winter temperatures as low as -35°C and is tolerant of atmospheric pollution. Additionally, the Red Oak is resistant to drought, poor soil, and powdery mildew. During the first two years after planting, it requires regular watering to establish well.

Capable of growing at altitudes up to 850 metres, the Red Oak is a hardy and adaptable choice for various environments.

The Red Oak's wood

Although still undervalued in Europe, Red Oak wood is interesting in more ways than one and is developing well, achieving attractive market prices. Its grain is coarser than that of native Oaks, and it has a pinkish-brown colour. The colour of its sapwood is very different from that of its heartwood.
Its qualities are similar to those of other Oaks, making it a very good wood for joinery and cabinet making. It is also used for carpentry and as energy wood. However, due to the low tannin content of its wood, it is not suitable for making barrels, as the alcohol preserved in these barrels would take on an unpleasant taste.

The Red Oak's Symbolism

The Red Oak is often associated with absolute love. It is probably because of its vivid colour, its leaves that turn red in the autumn and its ever-shining appearance that the Red Oak represents passionate and absolute love. When we talk about red, a feeling comes immediately to mind: "passion". It is therefore the ideal gift for Valentine's Day and a love wish to your loved one. How about turning a bouquet of red roses into an original and long-lasting Valentine's Day gift?

Say "I love you" with trees that will keep on growing!