Red Oak Quercus rubra
Family: Fagaceae (Beech)
Branching: Alternate
Other names: Northern Red Oak

Red Oak usually grows as a tall tree in upland hardwood forests.  Young bark is smooth, but develops vertical ridges as it ages.  These ridges remain mostly unbroken along the trunk (unlike Black Oak whose ridges also split horizontally to form a checker-like appearance).  Buds are sharply-pointed and hairy only at the very tip (or not at all)

Winter twig of Red Oak

Another view of the end buds. Notice how they are clustered.  This is typical of Oaks

Lateral bud and leaf scar

Bark as it begins to split vertically

Vertical ridges remain unbroken

A few middle-aged Red Oaks.  

Red Oak acorn

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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