How Fast Does A Northern Red Oak Tree Grow When Cared For?

Red Oak Leaf

photo by Bill Koplitz/Farzan Bilimoria/Pierre Longnus/Noelia Ramon – TellingLife


Northern Red Oak is popular as one of the best shade-offering trees. Scientifically known as Quercus Rubra, these giant trees have dense foliage and a height that can reach about 100 feet.


So, if you wish to add some shade trees to your yard, garden, or patio, look for these fast-growing Northern Red Oak trees. Looking at how fast does northern red oak grow, it is quite a choice for shade trees. These huge deciduous trees can also improve the appeal of your home and surrounding area.


Also, these trees can offer fantastic shade during the scorching afternoon in summer. The northern red oak is originally from South-East and Central Canada and the North-East United States. Read this helpful blog to know everything about its growth rate.


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How Fast Does Northern Red Oak Grow?

Among all the fast-growing trees in the middle-west regions, the Northern red oak is the best species. Being large-sized trees, these species have dense foliage which offers fantastic coverage.


Along with that, the tree can grow to a height of 70 feet and above with a spread of up to 50 feet. This combined with a thick canopy helps in offering cool shade. Typically, the northern red oaks grow at a rate of 2 feet every single year for ten years.


Other important characteristics of these oak tree types include unique leaves and yielding round acorns that grow about 3cm. The bark of these trees is ridged and becomes darker as it ages. The tree has dark green and lobed leaves with pointed tips.


In the Midwest regions, the unique northern red oak trees are commonly useful for their quality timber. Learned about how fast does a northern red oak tree grow, now let us hop on to its lifespan.


You can learn more about oak tree growth rate in detail if you would like to.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Northern Red Oak?

According to the reports given by the U.S. Forest Services, the Quercus Rubra can normally live for about 200 years. But some of its species can even survive well for even 400 years and more.


For example, the oldest variety of red oaks is The Pechanga Great Oak with an estimated lifespan between 850 years to 1,500 years. However, the oak lifespan may vary based on the conditions in which the trees are grown.


How Tall Do Northern Red Oaks Get?

When planted in wild and large enough spaces, the northern red oaks can climb to a height of 75-100 feet. While some of its exceptionally handsome trees can even climb to a height of 140 feet.


However, how much time does the oak take to grow and reach a mature height is variable as per the variety.

Where Does Northern Red Oak Grow Best?

There are certain conditions that determine how fast does northern red oak grows, like soil, sunlight, water, and area. The varieties of northern red oak can grow well in different locations along different streams flowing through hillsides and floodplains.


Likewise, different kinds of soil are favorable for the growth of these trees like loamy, clay, rocky, stone-free, and shallow soils. The most important thing is that you should use fertile soil with sufficient moisture content.


Additionally, the northern red oaks are known for their excellent tolerance toward compact soils and pollution. Hence, they are known as the Street trees.


They need natural sunlight in optimum amounts to mature into beautiful trees. Normally, these large trees need to grow in an area with adequate space about 20-30 feet.


It is important to care for the oak tree correctly in order for it to flourish.


Red Oak vs. White Oak Tree Growth Rate & Key Differences

There is no doubt that there are several differences between red oaks species and white oak varieties. Here, take a look at the important factors of difference.

  • Longevity: When planted individually, the white oaks can live for about 500-600 years while the red oaks have a slightly shorter lifespan. These species can survive for around 300-500 years.
  • Bark: The red oak tree has a ridged and scaly bark with a brown or grey or red hue. While white oak barks have shallow fissures with a deep and ash-grey tone.
  • Leaf shape and size: A red oak has a shiny and smooth leaf with an uneven bristled tip. On average, the red oak leaves can grow around 4-10’’ and spread around 3-6’’. In contrast to red oaks, the leaves of white oaks are more bristled with blunt ends. The size of their leaves varies from 5-9’’ in length and 2-4’’ in width.


Tips For Planting A Northern Red Oak Tree

How fast does a northern red oak tree grow is a common question among people interested to plant quick-growing shade trees in their landscape. Northern red oaks are indeed the best type of shade trees. But to plant them well you should be aware of some helpful tips.

  • Choose the right location for your tree with good sun exposure and adequate space.
  • Water your tree on a routine basis to maintain sufficient moisture in the soil.
  • It’s best to add fertilizer to your oak tree at least two times a year, in the spring and fall seasons.
  • Be careful about pruning your trees by getting rid of the damaged, dying, and dead branches or oak leaves.
  • Use the best soil that is acidic, sandy, and well-drained.
  • Look out for common issues that can harm your trees like iron chlorosis, powdery mildew, and blister in oak life.


Related growth guides: Nuttall Oak |Shumard Oak | Pin Oak| Willow oak | White Oak


Q. Is a northern red oak a good tree: some northern red oak tree pros and cons?

A. Northern red oaks are stunning and attractive trees with pros and cons of their own. With a giant structure and dense foliage, these trees offer shelter to a variety of wildlife.


These are typically fastest-growing best shade trees. It offers hard and durable wood that can be used to make furniture, veneers, and other construction. However, the red oaks are not resistant to fire. Also, they are vulnerable to a few fungal diseases, insect pests, and chlorosis.


Q. What is the southern red oak growth rate?

A. It is a beautiful, fast-growing species of red oak with a growth rate of 2 feet per year.


Q. Which are some of the common red oak trees?

A. The most commonly known red oak varieties include pin oak, willow oak, laurel oak, live oak, and black oak.