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Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) 

Research conducted by Jack Moco, Tanner Symons, Rocco Cappellino, Grosse Ile High School Students


General Characteristics

Range- Quercus rubra, the northern red oak, is an oak tree in the red oak group. It is a native of North America, in the eastern and central United States and southeast and south-central Canada

How to identify- to identify the Northern Red Oak Tree look at its unique bark. Look at its reddish brown color and the thin circular ridges. When looking at it it should have shiny stripes going down the center of the tree. It has a light consistent color throughout the tree

Commercial Value
The red oak is high value lumber.  Bad logs are used for firewood.  The Northern Red Oak can be used for flooring, veneer, interior trim, railroad ties, and furniture.  

Wildlife value
The northern red oak tree provides good cover and nesting sites (including cavities) for a wide variety of birds and animals. The acorns that fall from the northern red oak tree are commonly eaten by animals such as deer, elk, moose and rabbits. 
A symbiotic relationship the northern oak tree has is with squirrels when they consume the rich acorns and they end up planting these acorns in the ground and growing new trees

Works cited

Additional Information provided by Doug Thiel.


General Characteristics:  Range is Minnesota to Maine and south down to Georgia.  Moderate to fast growing with an appealing shape.  Grows to 65-140 feet tall and up to 36” in diameter.  Bears fruit (acorns) at 25 years of age.  Good acorn crop produced every 2-5 years.  

Commercial Value:  Lumber is highly valued for furniture and flooring.  Burns hot in fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. 

Wildlife Value:  Acorns are bitter in taste but are nevertheless eaten by squirrels, deer, turkey and other birds and small mammals. 

Interesting Tidbits:  Gypsy moth larvae like to eat the leaves.  If they defoliate a tree for several years in a row they can kill it. 

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