Northern Red Oak - Quercus Rubra
The Northern Red Oak, Quercus rubra, is the most abundant oak in Wisconsin.
Northern red oak is a medium to large deciduous tree. It is the tallest and fastest growing of the oaks, commonly reaching 65 to 100 feet in height and 2 to 3 feet in diameter. The leaves are dark green and have a glossy texture. In the fall, the leaves turn a beautiful red color. Northern Red Oaks prefer full sun to partial sun and thrive in well-drained soils. They are relatively tolerant of drought and can live for hundreds of years. Northern Red Oaks are an important part of the Wisconsin ecosystem and provide food and shelter for many animals.
Northern red oak is an important source of hardwood lumber. Its wood is heavy, hard, strong, coarse-grained, and durable. The wood of northern red oak has been used to make railroad ties, fenceposts, furniture and cabinets.
Red oaks are very susceptible to oak wilt. Oak wilt is a fast tree-killing disease caused by a fungus. The fungus plugs the water-conducting tubes in a tree, and as the transportation of water throughout a tree is stopped, leaves wilt and fall off. The tree most often dies as a result.