Canada’s Arboreal Emblems:

Prince Edward Island — Northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

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Prince Edward Island

A medium-sized deciduous tree, the northern red oak can grow to 25 m tall and 30 cm in diameter with a crown spread of 18 m. It has a short, massive trunk and an extensive crown in the open, while in the forest it has a tall columnar bole and small rounded head. It is symmetrical and beautifully coloured in the fall. Leaves are 10-20 cm long by 10-13 cm wide, and oblong, with 7 to 11 toothed lobes. Fruit is a single nut (acorn), 12-25 mm long. Bark can be brown to black, with broken to wide flat ridges. Northern red oak is a valuable fast-growing oak for lawns, parks, golf courses, and commercial areas. It is tolerant of road salt, so it is often used as a street tree.

Northern red oak is coarse grained, light red-brown, and heavy. It is ring-porous with large conspicuous pores, and has broad conspicuous rays on the radial surface, giving the tangential surface the characteristic mottled look. Hard and strong with high impact resistance, it works fairly easily, machines well, and holds nails and screws well but should be pre-drilled. It glues well and has good bending properties, making it highly desired for cabinets, decorative plywood and millwork. It is widely used for home furnishing, quality furniture, and craftwork.

Northern red oak is the most important and widespread of northern oaks, growing in all of eastern North America except Newfoundland and Labrador and Florida. It is a desirable street and shade tree.

Northern red oak (Quercus rubra)