Want to Know How Fast Do Red Oak Trees Grow? It’s Quicker Than You Think

How fast does red oak grow

The red oak is a species native to the eastern part of North America. It wasn’t until the early 1800s that it was first brought to the southern hemisphere, but it has since naturalized there, making it relatively widespread in parkland and large landscapes.


There are many factors that determine how fast do red oak trees grow. But on a whole, it won’t be wrong to say that it does grow fast. It has a moderate to fast growth rate.


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You may find these trees from Nova Scotia up to Minnesota. In addition to that Eastern-to-Western divide, you’ll notice that they continue down to Louisiana in the south.


Red oaks play a significant role in various aspects of your daily life. They are an excellent addition to any property, providing a sense of dignity and refinement while also having the potential to last for many years.


You should read this article if you consider planting oak trees along your street or yard. It will provide you with the crucial facts you need to know about red oaks.


Red Oak Tree Varieties – Lifespan and Benefits

Type of Oak Botanical name Lifespan Benefits
Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra 400 years Popular among lumbermen and landscapers
Southern Red Oak Q. falcata 150 years Ornaments, construction, and wildlife
Willow Oak Q. phellos 100 years Medicines and decoration
Southern Live Oak


Q. virginiana 200-300 years Provides shade and shelter
Black Oak


Q. velutina 150-200 years Medicines
Pin Oak


Q. palustris 150-200 years Provide shadow, aesthetic


How Fast Does Red Oak Grow On Average?

One of the many varieties of oak trees that can be seen flourishing across the globe is the red oak, scientifically known as Quercus rubra. This tree is native to North America.


Commonly, it is known as red oak; sometimes called northern red oak to differentiate it from the Spanish oak.


In optimal conditions, red oak varieties can grow up to 2 feet every year, making it one of the Oak species with the quickest growth rate. In its lifetime, during the next 150 years, it grows up to 80 feet in height and 40-50 feet in spread.


You might like to read up on oak tree’s growth rate in detail here.

Red Oak Leaves

The red oak leaves are vivid yellow for a few weeks in May but fade to a more muted green. The common name “Red Oak” comes from the fact that the leaves turn a deep red in the autumn.


This type of tree loses its leaves in the fall. Learn more about oak leaves and their identification with us.


Red Oak Height and Spread

Its height can range anywhere from 60 to 70 feet, and its trunk can have a diameter of anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5 feet.


When planted in open regions, the plant will generate a considerably broader base that can attain a diameter of up to 7 feet.


It expands its branches at right angles to the trunk at a rate of two feet each year and has sturdy, thick branches that develop in a horizontal direction from the base.


In forested environments, the smaller branches growing toward the upper parts of the base will eventually grow upward to produce a thin, rounded crown with a breadth of approximately 45 feet.


The crown of plants that are left to grow in the sunlight can be as wide spreading as 75 feet in some cases.


How Can I Speed Up The Growth Of My Red Oak?

How fast do red oak trees grow somehow also depends on the growing conditions you provide to them. The following is a list of the factors you will need to make available to your red oak to ensure that it continues to thrive for the next 50 years and far beyond.



Full sun is optimal for the growth of the red oak. It can thrive in either full sun or moderate shade, but it does best when given between four to six hours of direct sunshine daily.


Because it does not thrive in warm temperatures, the place chosen for its planting must have a temperature that is more on the cooler side of the spectrum.



For the roots of newly planted trees to become established, they will need to be watered once a week. It is important to water thoroughly and sees that the water penetrates the ground to a minimum depth of two feet.


It is essential to provide more watering to red oaks during the warmer months to preserve the health of the tree’s young roots.



The soil should be neutral to acidic if you want to grow red oak. A soil pH of 7.5 or above, which is somewhat alkaline, can result in an iron deficit, which in turn will induce chlorosis. This causes the leaves to turn yellow.


The ideal soil for the tree would be something with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.0. However, they can handle acidity quite well, so they will continue to show robust development even with a pH level of as little as 4.0.




Like some other oak types, red oak is exceptionally resilient. As a result, it requires only infrequent applications of supplementary fertilization to maintain healthy and ongoing growth.


You can use a fertilizer with NPK ratio 12-4-8.



Pruning is an important factor how fast do red oak trees grow per year. You should only trim your tree during the year’s colder months. Doing this will prevent your tree from becoming infected with oak wilt and dying away.


Oak wilt is caused when insects feast on the fluid of recently clipped limbs, which causes the sap to become contaminated.


The bug brings spores from a diseased tree to the base of the tree that you just pruned, further spreading the infection. Oak wilt has been known to be fatal in certain cases.


Did you know how long do oak trees live? Check this out to know!

Where Does Red Oak Grow Best?

The Western United States, which ranges from hardiness zones 1a-11b, and American Southwest, which ranges from hardiness 5b-10a, are the two regions in the United States with the most favorable conditions for growing oak trees.


How To Grow and Care For A Red Oak Tree

We have discussed how fast does red oak grow. This will help you to keep up with its care. Apart from its regular care like watering, pruning, and fertilizing remember to take care of the points given below while planting it.

  • For plants the acorns, remove the seed caps first. Put acorns in water for 5 minutes.
  • Dry your acorns and place them in a sack with damp sawdust. After 45 days, check the bag for germination. Once you see the signs of germination, plant the seed in a pot.
  • Once your seedling has grown to 12 to 18 inches in a tiny pot of good quality potting soil, it’s time to transplant it.
  • You can relocate it to where it will grow in your yard, whilst making sure you do not leave it uprooted for any prolonged period of time.
  • Oak trees take up to 50-70 years to grow to a mature size.



Here’s how to take care of a oak tree in simple steps:

  • Bright sunlight: You will want to find a spot for your red oak that gets a good deal of sunlight.
  • Fertile soil: Red oak trees thrive in sandy, dry, well-draining soil.
  • Adequate water: You should water your tree with 10 liters for every inch of its trunk’s diameter.
  • Humidity: The cold, rainy months and warm, humid summers is no match for the hardiness of red oaks, which are highly resistant to frost and can thrive in these conditions.
  • Fertilizer: To treat nutritional deficits, apply slow-release NPK fertilizer near the tree’s drip line. Make sure you know how to fertilize oak trees before you get your hands on fertilizers.


Is Red Oak A Good Tree: Red Oak Tree Pros and Cons

The Red Oak’s are a good tree to have. They beautify the area where they grow, provide shelter to birds and other tiny animals, and give shade to us humans.


In addition to that, these oak trees have a quick growth rate and do not need intense care to flourish.


On the downside, it’s prone to fungus and bug infestation, and its huge size may get messy sometimes.


Other Oak Types: White Oak


Q. How how fast does red oak grow in Texas?

A. Texas red oak has a growth rate that ranges from moderate to rapid with an annual increase of 2-3 feet. It can grow to a height of up to 75 feet, in exceptional circumstances, but more commonly reaches heights of 30 to 50 feet and has spreading branches.


They might be conical in form with a central leader, or they can be broadly distributed and have several trunks, based on the variety they belong to. The leaves and acorns of each species are distinctively different from those of the others.

Q. What is the lifespan of a red oak?

A. The average lifespan of red oak is roughly 400 years, but they have been known to live as long as 700 years.


Pechanga Great Oak Tree is a coastal live oak variety that is believed to be anywhere from 850 to more than 1,500 years old. It is often considered the world’s most ancient red oak, surviving in the US.



Red oaks are quite abundantly found and with a little bit of work, they really make fine landscaping trees. Knowing how fast do red oak trees grow and the long lifespan they have, it’s not wrong to say that they make amazing shade trees for a park or yard.


Happy gardening!