At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Fagaceae
Latin Name: Quercus rubra
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Foliage: Brownish-red
Bloom: Yellowish-green
Bloom Time: April to May
Shape: Irregular to round
Bark: Gray with ridges
Sun: Full sun
Zone: Zone 4 to Zone 8
Size: 50 to 75 feet
Spread: 50 to 75 feet
Care: Medium to dry, well drained soil

Hailed by naturalist Joseph S. Illick as “one of the handsomest, cleanest, and stateliest trees in North America”, the Northern Red Oak is an invaluable tree from many aspects. Its versatility and resilience, combined with its fast-growing and long-living nature, make it a surefire choice with reference to its reliability as a cultivar. Its lush and vibrant autumn foliage enables it to be as aesthetically attractive as it is serviceable as an ornamental, habitat, and shade tree. The Northern Red Oak’s high-quality timber also has significant commercial worth, highly valued as lumber, veneer, interior trim, and furniture; even its defective timber is used as firewood.

Quercus Rubra, as the species is scientifically classified, is one of the most colorful deciduous variants of the Fagaceae family. The Northern Red Oak’s leaves are alternate, tapered, and colored a glossy dark green, with bristly edges, a smooth upper surface, and a downy underside. The tree produces yellow-green catkins in April and May, which are replaced by late summer’s capped and ovular-shaped acorns. The Northern Red Oak has an irregular to rounded crown, and grows straight and tall to a respectable height of 50-75 ft. with a respective spread. Like other oak variants, this species prefers full sun and medium to dry, well-drained soils, although it has been noted to especially favor slightly acidic loam.

Native to eastern and central North America, the Northern Red Oak can be found as north as Nova Scotia, as south as Georgia, and as far west as Oklahoma and Nebraska. It has been claimed as both New Jersey’s state tree and Prince Edward Island’s provincial tree. The specimen’s most idiosyncratic feature is its dark reddish-brown or gray ridged bark, which is patterned with gleaming silvery stripes that travel all the way down its trunk like rivulets of tears. The Northern Red Oak’s deciduous foliage brightens in the autumn, converting to gorgeous shades of russet brown and brilliant scarlet; the tree’s timber, too, has a characteristically red hue, with darker colored sap. Due to its thick taproot, the Northern Red Oak quickly becomes difficult to transplant, so it is best planted carefully. In optimal conditions, this splendid species can survive for over 500 years.

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Mature Tree Photos: