Silvics of Red Oak

(Quercus rubra L. )

Common names:
- oak, northern red oak

Field identification aids:
- only oak native to Nova Scotia
- dark green leaves with 7 to 11 bristle-tipped lobes
- large, sturdy tree that bears acorns
- cluster of buds at top of twig

Average mature tree:
- 70 to 90 years old
- 15 m to 21 m (50' to 70') tall
- 30 cm to 75 cm (12" to 30") in diameter at breast height

Maximum life span:
- 200 - 300 years

Shade tolerance:
- medium

- deep spreading lateral roots with a tap root

- good windfirmness on average sites

- reproduces by seed or stump sprouting
- tree may begin to produce by seed when 25 years old, with full crop production after 50 years
- good seed crop production every 2 to 5 years
- best seed germination occurs on moist soil covered by litter
- poor germination on dry or exposed soil

Growing sites:
- range from deep stone free to shallow, rocky sites
- best growth is on fine textured soils with a high water table

Associated species:
- aspen, white birch and red maple on poor sites
- sugar maple, yellow birch, white ash, red spruce, red pine, and white pine on good sites
- can occur in pure stands, especially in Queens County

Principal damaging agents:
- gypsy moth, oak leaf-shredder, fall cankerworm, leaf skeletonizer

- red oak comprises 0.9% of the merchantable volume in Nova Scotia
- wood used for flooring, interior finish and furniture


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