Northern Red Oak
Quercus rubra L.
Getting your Red Oak started is easy.
1. Soak your peat pellet in warm water until it expands fully.
2.Make a hole in the top of the peat pellet and plant your acorn below the surface.
3. Put your planted pellet on a saucer in a sunny window sill, keep watered and don’t allow it to dry out.
4. Once it’s sprouted and growing, plant the pellet in a protected spot in your garden or in a large flower pot until you are ready to plant your oak tree in its final spot.
Red Oak acorns need a period of cold storage to sprout. In the wild, acorns lie under leaves and debris on the forest floor for the cold months of the year, then germinate in the spring. Your acorn has been pre-cooled so it’s ready to grow!
Once your acorn has sprouted, you can plant in a sheltered spot outdoors or in a container. Select pots that are at least 30cm deep to allow enough space for the roots to develop. The bottoms of the containers should have drainage holes. Fill your containers with a mixture of half potting soil and half topsoil from your yard or garden.Water once a week, but do not overwater because this can cause rot.
The containers may be placed outside in spring in a partially shaded location for four to six weeks to acclimate them to outdoor conditions. Then you canÂ move them to a sunny location for maximum growth.
Red oak is a fast-growing tree and will grow in almost all well-drained soils. It can grow in full sun or light shade. The growth of a tree depends on the soil type, nutrients, water availability, and the amount of light it receives.Â
Mature Height: 24m
Life Expectancy: 200-250 years
Shade Tolerance: Moderate to low
Moisture Preference: Medium
Soil: Deep, moist and sandy-loam
ph Level: Neutral to acid
Salt Tolerance: High
Pollution Tolerance: Moderate
Fall Colours: Leaves turn deep red to a rust copper in the fall
Foliage: Leaves can remain on tree into late fall or early winter
Traditionally, many rural people planted oaks to attract lightening away from their homes. A beautiful yellow dye can be made from the bark of the Red Oak.
Mi’kmaq people used the Red Oak’s acorns, pounding them into a fine flour and baking it into bread. The bark was used as an astringent to treat hemorrhaging, and powder made from acorns was used as a diuretic. An infusion of bark or roots was used for diarrhea.
Let us know how your oak tree is growing!
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