Quercus falcata

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: southern red oak 
Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 60.00 to 80.00 feet
Spread: 40.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Green (female)Red (male)
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Insignificant
Tolerate: Drought, Air Pollution


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 6-9 where it is best grown in acidic, dry to medium, well-drained loams in full sun. Tolerates some part shade. Grows well in sandy soils. Tolerates poor soils and drought. Also tolerates soils with brief flooding. If planted in St. Louis (northern edge of winter hardiness), this tree should be sited in a protected location.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Quercus falcata, commonly called southern red oak or Spanish oak, is a medium to large deciduous oak that typically matures to 60-80’ tall. It is native from New Jersey to Florida west to southern Illinois, southern Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. It is primarily found growing in upland areas (dry often sandy hills), but is occasionally found in valleys and bottomland areas along rivers. In Missouri, it is native to the far southern counties along the border with Arkansas plus the bootheel. This is an ornamentally attractive oak with a straight trunk and an open rounded crown. Leaves (typically 4-9” long) are variable on the same tree (obovate to broad oval with 3 to 9 pointed bristle-tipped lobes and rounded bases). Leaves are dark green above and pale green below. Leaves remain on the tree late into fall with insignificant reddish brown fall color. Smooth bark becomes dark and furrowed with age. Insignificant monoecious flowers appear in spring in male catkins (yellowish green) and in female clusters (red tinged). Fruits are small globular acorns (to 1/2” long). Acorns appear in September-October.

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

Specific epithet means sickle-shaped in reference to the appearance of the leaf lobes.


No serious insect or disease problems. Oaks in general are susceptible to a large number of diseases, including oak wilt, chestnut blight, shoestring root rot, anthracnose, oak leaf blister, cankers, leaf spots and powdery mildew. Potential insect pests include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner, galls, oak lace bugs, borers, caterpillars and nut weevils.


Large oak for streets, residential areas and parks in the South.