|Leaves in autumn|
The Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) is an oak in the red oak section Quercus sect. Lobatae. The scarlet oak is often confused with the Pin Oak, the Red Oak, and occasionally the Black Oak. It is mainly native to the eastern United States, from southern Maine west to eastern Oklahoma, and south to southern Alabama. It is also native in the extreme south of Ontario, Canada. It occurs on dry, sandy, usually acidic soils.
It is a medium-large deciduous tree growing to 20-30 m tall with an open, rounded crown. The leaves are glossy green, 7-17 cm long and 8-13 cm broad, lobed, with seven lobes, and deep sinuses between the lobes. Each lobe has 3-7 bristle-tipped teeth. The leaf is hairless (unlike the related Pin Oak, which has tufts of pale orange-brown down where the lobe veins join the central vein). The acorns are ovoid, 7-13 mm broad and 17-31 mm long, a third to a half covered in a deep cup, green maturing pale brown about 18 months after pollination; the kernel is very bitter.
Closeup of trunk.
Scarlet Oak is often planted as an ornamental tree, popular for its bright red fall color. The wood is generally marketed as red oak, but is of inferior quality, being somewhat weaker and not forming as large a tree.
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