Quercus coccinea Muenchh
Fagaceae (Beech) Family
Scarlet Oak is a large tree with a rounded, open crown of glossy foliage, best known for its brilliant autumn colors. Its usual height is 60 to 80 feet, with a trunk diameter of 1 to 2.5 feet. Its preferred habitat is various soils, especially poor and sandy, on upland ridges and slopes; with other oaks and in mixed forests.
The leaves are 3 to 7 inches long and 2 to 5 inches wide, elliptical, deeply divided nearly to midvein into 7 (rarely 9) lobes, broadest toward the tip, each lobe ending in several bristle-tipped teeth, the wide round sinuses between lobes often forming more than a half-circle. The leaf stalks are long and slender.
The acorns are 1/2 to 1 inch long, egg-shaped, becoming brown with 2 to 4 faint rings. The deep cup is thick, top-shaped and tightly pressed scales, tapering to stalk-like base and maturing in the second year of growth.
Scarlet is a popular and handsome shade and street tree. The lumber is marketed as Red Oak, which differs in its shallowly lobed, dull green leaves and acorns with a shallow cup. Black Oak is also similar, but has yellow-green leaves with brown hairs beneath and acorns with a deep cup of loose hairy scales.