Quercus coccinea is one of the very reliable autumn colour producing Oak trees; it rivals Quercus palustris and rubra for flaming autumn red colour.
It was introduced from its native South East Canada and Eastern USA in 1691, so it has long been present in the UK.
The foliage is very similar to Quercus palustris, with leaves that are bright green, medium sized, with deep lobes.
In autumn this superb tree produces an array of bright red autumn scarlet’s, branch by branch from the top to the bottom of the tree.
The acorns distinguish this tree readily from palustris; they are produced in almost closed cups.
Quercus coccinea performs best on a slightly acidic soil, a characteristic often exhibited by dry, sandy soils; if the soil is neutral the autumn colour will be less spectacular and in this case it is best to opt for the more reliable performer that is Quercus palustris.
At maturity the Scarlet Oak produces a broad and rounded crown, further distinguishing it from the pyramidal formed palustris.
In the UK the Scarlet Oak is often confused with Quercus palustris yet it is a lovely addition to a parkland or estate where there is space for this tree to reach its full potential.
The US Champion tree for this species is found in Kentucky and stands at a massive 40m tall by 31m wide; it has been growing for many years in optimal soil conditions.
Mature height: 20m+