Southern Red Oak

Quercus falcata

Southern Red Oak

Southern red oak (Quercus falcata var. falcata), also called Spanish Oak, Water Oak, or Red Oak, is one of the more common upland southern oaks.  This medium-size tree is moderately fast growing on dry, sandy, or clay loams in mixed forests. It is also often found growing as a street or lawn tree.  The hard strong wood is coarse grained and used for general construction, furniture, and fuel. Wildlife depend upon the acorns as food.

Southern Red Oak lumber is marketed as red oak for construction and furniture. This oak is common throughout the South and often called Spanish Oak because of the association with early Spanish settlement. The largest known southern red oak grows in Upson County, Georgia.  [2]

Identification and Description

Southern Red Oak

Southern Red Oak [2]

The Southern Red Oak is a deciduous, fast-growing tree with a short trunk and a rounded crown. Leaves have a variable lobe pattern with three to five bristle-tipped lobes; the upper leaf surface is shiny green and the lower leaf surface is pubescent and yellow-gray. [1]  The small number of long, narrow lobes is diagnostic, readily distinguishing Southern Red Oak from other red oaks. [3]

Adapted to Georgia hardiness zones:      6b 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b.    Atlanta is zone 7b [1]

For more photos and identification help, we recommend the UGA Extension site: Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines (B 987).

Champion Southern Red Oak Trees in Atlanta and Georgia


Atlanta Champion Trees – full list
Georgia Champion Trees – full list
Intown Hawk – Condensed Atlanta and Georgia List

References and Additional Information

[1]  UGA Extension: Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines (B 987) – Southern Red Oak
[2]  USDA Forest Service: Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America
[3]  Wikipedia: Quercus falcata
[4]  USDA Forest Service: Southern Red Oak