Quercus rubra L.
Common Name: RED OAK
Coefficient of Conservatism: 5
Coefficient of Wetness: 3
Wetness Index: FACU
Physiognomy: Nt Tree

Thrives in rich mesic forests, but also grows on sandy plains with jack pine and on rock outcrops in the Lake Superior region, rather scrubby in the latter situations but can be a magnificent tree on better soils.

Ordinarily, Red Oak can be fairly easily recognized by the shallowly lobed, dull leaves, the lobes broadest at the base and ± tapering (not expanded) distally, the sinuses therefore narrowest at the base and widest at their open end (not narrowed again). The mature leaves are glabrous except usually for small tufts of pubescence persisting in the axils of the main veins beneath (as in Q. velutina), many descriptions of the leaves as completely glabrous notwithstanding. Most of our plants have broad (to 2.5 cm), very flat, saucer-like cups beneath the large acorns and have been referred to var. rubra. Plants with narrower acorns, the cup deeper and often with a suggestion of fringe around the acorn, are apparently var. ambigua (A. Gray) Fernald.

Hybridizes with Q. velutina, producing Q. ×hawkinsiae Sudw., collected from Berrien Co. to Oscoda Co. Quercus rubra also hybridizes with Q. imbricaria and Q. ellipsoidalis.(see under those species).  


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MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. May 21, 2022. https://michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=1383.