Quercus coccinea

Scarlet Oak




  • native to eastern and central United States
  • zone 4

Habit and Form

  • a large, deciduous tree
  • 75' tall and 45' wide
  • upright to rounded shape at maturity
  • young plants are loosely pyramidal in shape
  • upright spreading branches
  • old trunk can develop an irregular loose and open crown

Summer Foliage

  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • 3" to 6" long by 2.5' to 4.5" wide
  • seven lobes per leaf each with a bristle-tip
  • shiny dark green color
  • sinuses between lobes are "C"-shaped

Autumn Foliage

  • most trees develop good color
  • russet to scarlet
  • color develops very late in fall
  • can be spectacular


  • male flowers are catkins
  • monoecious


  • acorn, 0.5" to 1" long and wide
  • singly or in pairs
  • half of nut covered by a deep cap


  • furrows and ridges
  • gray-black color


  • full sun
  • difficult to transplant
  • prefers acidic, sandy soils on the dry side based on natural occurrence
  • seems less prone to chlorosis than pin oak

Landscape Use

  • shade tree
  • lawn tree
  • should be saved in new construction


  • considered hard to transplant
  • very difficult to find in commerce

ID Features

  • sinuses between lobes are "C"-shaped in comparison to Q. palustris, which has "U"-shaped sinuses
  • acorns half-covered by a deep cap
  • fall color late and red


  • by seed


  • none

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.