High Desert Plant Finder & Guide

tree

Scarlet Oak

Quercus coccinea

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Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) at Moana Nursery

Scarlet Oak

Scarlet Oak

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) at Moana Nursery

Scarlet Oak in fall

Scarlet Oak in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  70 feet

Spread:  50 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  3

Description:

An impressive shade tree with a loosely pyramidal habit of growth and interesting leaves; fast growing for an oak, great as a fall accent in the home landscape; requires loose, acidic soils. Excellent fall color.

Ornamental Features

Scarlet Oak has dark green foliage throughout the season. The spiny lobed leaves turn an outstanding scarlet in the fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The furrowed gray bark and silver branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Scarlet Oak is a deciduous tree with a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting squirrels to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Scarlet Oak is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Scarlet Oak will grow to be about 70 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 50 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 6 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 300 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Shade 
Applications
Fall Color  Bark  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.