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Southern Red Oak

Quercus falcata


The southern red oak has a unique appearance with its dark green, wispy foliage and pale, rusty colored leaf undersides. Acorns may drop early and are a valuable food source to wildlife, although they not preferred when better acorns are present.


Mainly southeastern US, but ranging west to eastern Oklahoma and north to New Jersey, south to Florida.

Distribution Map


Uplands, well-drained or rocky soil, and high ground near swamps. Tolerant to poor soils.


Dark green; 3 to 9 pointed lobes.  Leaf shape sometimes resembles a turkey foot. Underside of leaf is pubescent and rusty in color.

Southern Red Oak


Dark gray and furrowed, shifting to light brownish-gray and lightly fissured on upper limbs and on young trees.

Southern Red Oak


Small (1/2 to 3/4") with somewhat cone-shaped caps covering about 1/3 of the nut.

Southern Red Oak


Look-alike oaks:

Cherrybark Oak - Was once considered the same species. Cherrybark oak leaves usually have shallower sinuses. Bark of cherrybark oak is usually more flaky than that of southern red oak. Cherrybark oak is also better suited to swampy areas and bottomlands.

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