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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.
- 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.
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.
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.
Size B Trees:
8-10' tall. These slow growing giants are grown in our #15 tree container. Strong caliper 1 1/2" plus with well developed branching.
Size C Trees:
Bower & Branch delivers these large Oaks in handled pots that will require 2 people to move about and to plant. Scarlet Oaks are much taller than wide at shipping time. 12' tall and about 4-6' wide with a developed branching structure is what you can expect. At times during the year we may ship Balled & Burlapped.
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