Quercus coccinea
Common name: 
Scarlet Oak
KWER-kus kok-SIN-ee-a
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 70-80 ft (21-24 m), pyramidal, horizontal branches, branches generally not large.  Lower branches generally do not sweep downward as pin oak (i.e., less pruning).  Leaves alternate, simple, 7.5-15 cm long, glossy green above and paler below, leaf truncate or rarely broadly wedge-shaped (cuneate) at base, 7-9 bristle tipped lobes, major sinuses rounded in the bottom ("C" shaped), scarlet or red in fall.  Blade tends to be flat at site of attachment with petiole, not "V"-shaped.  Buds large, oval, shaped like a rugby ball, tip blunt and pubescent.  Small to medium acorn (2.0-2.5 cm. long) enclosed by a third or half of its length by a deep, bowl-like cap.
  • Difficult to transplant, tap root.  Generally found on dry, sandy soils. Does not develop chlorosis problems to the degree of Pin Oak.  Less tolerant of adverse conditions than Pin or Red Oak.  It is possible to garden under it and it is considered a good lawn and street tree.  However, this species may retain dead leaves into the next spring, this characteristic, called marcescence, varies some from tree to tree and in response to climate.  
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4      Native from Maine to Florida, west to Minnesota and Missouri
  • coccinea: Latin, scarlet, referring to the fall color
  • Corvallis: Central Park, two trees east of the gazebo
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: SE Kidder Hall; east of H. R. Women and Gender Center


Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • leaves


  • developing fruit

    developing fruit

  • plant habit and leaf, fall

    plant habit and leaf, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • leaves and fruit, fall

    leaves and fruit, fall

  • fruit (acorns)

    fruit (acorns)

  • plant habit, winter

    plant habit, winter

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • winter twigs and buds

    winter twigs and buds

  • buds, comparison

    buds, comparison