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USDA Organic Scarlet Oak
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The mighty Scarlet Oak. Though few garden centers carry it, this is one of the most spectacular Oak Trees you can grow, and it isn’t hard to please. Plant it as a street tree, as a single specimen in a large lawn, or use it to line your driveway or property border in the country. In time, it will stand tall and proud in your landscape, lifting its strong limbs high above the ground. This long-lived tree will stand for generations as a precious gift to future shade seekers and as an emblem of your own lasting legacy. But don’t think that only your grandchildren will enjoy it! The aptly named Scarlet Oak has some of the most brilliant red fall color of all the Oaks, and it will delight you every year.
Tread lightly, shrink your footprint, and let yourself grow with USDA Certified Organic Trees. Organic farming has sprung up drastically in importance and influence, spreading worldwide the philosophy of deeply rooting nature in harmony and enriching the soil we stand upon. Benefitting the gardner, enhancing biodiversity, preserving nature's wildlife, and a true direction to protecting our environment. Choosing organic trees on your property, whether they are fruit, nut, ornamental, or shade trees, begins with their soil and cultivates change taking root in your backyard. Take one BIG TREE step for your garden, and one giant leap towards a greener world.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
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You don’t hear much about it. It has to take a backseat to White Oak, Red Oak, and Pin Oak, but Scarlet Oak is a magnificent tree, too. Native to the U.S., it’s common in sandy or rocky soil in the South and is found in smaller populations as far north as Minnesota and Maine. Its fondness for these tough conditions means it is supremely adapted to drought in the landscape. Scarlet Oak in the wild is a boon for wildlife. The acorns are bitter but nutritious and are food for blue jays, woodpeckers, squirrels, and deer. The foliage feeds a wide array of tiny insects, which in turn feed many species of songbirds.
How big does Scarlet Oak get? The national champion, in Mercer, New Jersey, tops out at 128 feet in height by 122 feet in spread. It has a trunk over 5 feet thick. Most Scarlet Oaks will only ever get about half that size.
What does it mean to be USDA Organically grown?
- USDA Organic crops are grown exclusively on land that has gone without having non-USDA Organic approved substances applied for three years.
- No pesticides for us, please! Organically grown crops are highly regulated on what can and cannot be used for pest control—worried about harsh chemicals that have been sprayed on your plant? There is only a small number of approved synthetic chemicals that are allowed to be used. Otherwise, farmers use strict biological, mechanical, and physical management practices.
- Not just any type of seeds are used to grow and harvest organic plants: farmers can only use organic seeds or organically raised seedlings in their organic fields.
- Only the best handling is allowed! Organic and non-organic crops are not allowed to be commingled or near each other. Cross-contamination can occur, botching the organic plant's purity due to non-organic substances that could have been sprayed on non-organic harvests; this would cause the organic plant to be considered compromised.
- Fields are carefully cultivated through crop rotation and proper tillage practices to ensure that the soil and the soil's nutrients are kept at a happy balance. Animal manure, not sludge, is allowed to help infuse the soil with nitrogen to support the growth of the organic crops.
How to Grow
Plant Scarlet Oak in a sunny area with lots of elbow room. The soil should be well drained and on the acidic side, thought this tree is not as demanding of acidic soil as the closely related Pin Oak. Irrigate with the Bower & Branch Elements™ Watering System during the first couple of years of establishment in the landscape; after that your tree should be able to get by on what falls from the sky, barring a very severe drought. No major pests or diseases affect Scarlet Oak except for Oak wilt. Because of this destructive fungal disease, never prune your Scarlet Oak when it is actively growing. Prune only during dormancy, from November through February.
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