The Scarlet Oak is a large tree with deeply lobed leaves. The leaves turn a brilliant red in the autumn, hence the name. It is a rounded, open habit which eventually matures to 70' tall. Leaves are 3-6" long and deeply cut with bristle-tipped, pointed lobes. Foliage is a glossy green in summer turning to scarlet in fall. Monoecious, with neither male (drooping catkins) nor female (solitary or clustered) flowers being showy. Fruit is an acorn (1/2" to 1" long). Native to the central and eastern United States. This tree is long-living, durable and considered to be a low-maintenance tree to grow. Scarlet oak is not subject to chlorosis problems as much as the closely related pin oak (Q. palustris). A stately shade tree for the lawn, particularly in drier locations, with excellent fall color. It is a good street tree. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers dry, acidic, sandy soils. Hardy in zones 5-9.
Growing Instructions for the Scarlet Oak
The seeds need to be planted when received or stored in a refrigerator until they are planted. The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year. 1. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. 2. Put the seeds in a ziplock bag. 3. Put the bag in the refrigerator and leave it there for 2 months. 4. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. 5. Sow the seeds 1 inch deep in the soil. 6. Water the soil so that it is moist but not wet. 8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.