Scarlet Oak

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 Quercus coccinea subsp. var.  Scarlet Oak
Leaves and male catkins in spring
Habit: tree
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Fagaceae > Quercus coccinea var. ,

The Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) is an oak in the red oak section Quercus sect. Lobatae. The scarlet oak is often confused with the Pin Oak, the Red Oak, and occasionally the Black Oak. It is mainly native to the eastern United States, from southern Maine west to eastern Oklahoma, and south to southern Alabama. It is also native in the extreme south of Ontario, Canada. It occurs on dry, sandy, usually acidic soils.

It is a medium-large deciduous tree growing to 20-30 m tall with an open, rounded crown. The leaves are glossy green, 7-17 cm long and 8-13 cm broad, lobed, with seven lobes, and deep sinuses between the lobes. Each lobe has 3-7 bristle-tipped teeth. The leaf is hairless (unlike the related Pin Oak, which has tufts of pale orange-brown down where the lobe veins join the central vein). The acorns are ovoid, 7-13 mm broad and 17-31 mm long, a third to a half covered in a deep cup, green maturing pale brown about 18 months after pollination; the kernel is very bitter.

Scarlet Oak is often planted as an ornamental tree, popular for its bright red fall color. The wood is generally marketed as red oak, but is of inferior quality, being somewhat weaker and not forming as large a tree.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Quercus coccinea, Muench. Scarlet Oak. Figs. 3308, 3309. Tree, to 80 ft., with gradually spreading branches forming a round-topped rather open head: Ivs. deeply divided by wide sinuses into 7-9 rather narrow, oblong or lanceolate, few-toothed lobes, bright green and glossy above, light green and glabrous beneath, 4-8 in. long: fr. short-stalked, ovoid to oblong-ovate,1/2-3/4in. long, embraced about one-half by the almost glabrous cup. Maine to Fla., west to Minn, and Mo. S.S.8:412, 413. Em. 1:163.—Especially valuable for its brilliant scarlet fall coloring; grows well in dryish situations. Hybrids of this species with Q. rubra and Q. velutina have been found.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



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