Quercus coccinea

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: scarlet oak 
Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States, southern Canada
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 50.00 to 70.00 feet
Spread: 40.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers dry, acidic, sandy soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Quercus coccinea, commonly called scarlet oak, is a large tree with 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 southeastern Missouri.

Genus name comes from the classical Latin name for oak trees.

Specific epithet means scarlet.


No serious problems. Leaf spots, anthracnose, canker, mildew, rust, wilts, rots, galls and numerous insect problems have been reported. However, 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. Also a good street tree. Since it is a large tree, it must be planted in a location where it will have sufficient space to grow upward and spread to its mature size.