Quercus falcata

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Southern red oak
Quercus falcata leaf bark.jpg
Leaf and bark

Secure (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Lobatae
Species: Q. falcata
Binomial name
Quercus falcata
Quercus falcata range map 1.png

Quercus falcata, commonly known as the southern red oak or Spanish oak, is a tree in the red oak section (Lobatae) of the genus Quercus native to the eastern and south-central United States.


Quercus falcata occurs on dry or sandy upland sites from southern New York (Long Island) south to central Florida and west to Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.[3] In the northeastern portion of its range the species is relatively rare and found almost exclusively along the coast; its highest prevalence is throughout the piedmont region of the Southeast.[4]


Quercus falcata is a medium to large-sized deciduous tree reaching 25–30 meters (82–98 ft) tall, rarely 35–38 meters (115–125 ft) (forest grown specimens on highly productive sites), with a trunk up to 1.5 meters (59 inches)or 5 feet) in diameter, the crown with a broad, round-topped head.

The leaves are 10–30 cm (4–12 in) long and 6–16 cm (2.5–6.5 in) wide, with 3 to 5 sharply pointed, often curved, bristle-tipped lobes, the central lobe long and narrow; the small number of long, narrow lobes is diagnostic, readily distinguishing Southern Red Oak from other red oaks. The base of the leaf is distinctly rounded into an inverted bell shape and often lopsided. They are dark green and shiny above, and rusty and hairy below, particularly along the midrib and veins.

The seed is a short acorn 9–16 mm long, bright orange-brown, enclosed for one-third to half of its length in a flat cup. The acorn matures at the end of its second season. The bark is dark brownish gray with narrow, shallow ridges.[5]

Southern red oak has been reported to form occasional hybrids with several other red oaks in the region.

Famous Specimens[edit]

Queen Anne’s County Oak – A Southern Red Oak on record as the largest Southern Red Oak in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. The oak was located on Romancoke Road. It fell on July 23, 2017 due to a Tornado. The tree was at least 200 years old, stood 66 feet tall, and had a 102.5 foot spread.[6]


  1. ^ "Quercus falcata". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  2. ^ The Plant List, Quercus falcata Michx.
  3. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  4. ^ Belanger, Roger P.; Krinard, R. M. (1990). "Quercus falcata". In Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H. Hardwoods. Silvics of North America. Washington, D.C.: United States Forest Service (USFS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2. Retrieved July 5, 2011 – via Southern Research Station (www.srs.fs.fed.us). 
  5. ^ Flora of North America: Quercus falcata
  6. ^ "'It's devastating': Tornado causes extensive damage on Kent Island". July 24, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Quercus falcata at Wikimedia Commons