Scarlet Oak Tree Complete Guide To Grow And Care

The Scarlet Oak Tree is prized for its stunning fall leaves color and for its sun-dappled shade. For the tree to grow, it need full sun and lots of space. This is a big tree that spreads 40 to 50 feet and grows to a height of 60 to 80 feet. Popular in the more eastern and central regions of the United States, from New York to Georgia and on to Missouri and Michigan, this tree grows quickly.

While planting oaks isn’t always simple, the scarlet oak is regarded as adaptable due to its ability to grow in both alkaline and less-than-ideal acidic, dry soil. It can tolerate temperatures as low as -28 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit, although it grows best in an ideal temperature range of 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scarlet Oak Tree Overview

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Common Name  Scarlet oak, black oak, red oak, Spanish oak
Botanical Name Quercus coccinea
Family Fagaceae
Plant Type Tree
Mature Size 50-70 ft. tall, 40-50 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Well-drained
Soil pH Acidic
Hardiness Zones 4-9 (USDA)
Native Area North America

Scarlet Oak Care

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The primary needs for caring for a scarlet oak tree are listed below.

  • Give your plant full sun.


  • Because scarlet oak develops a deep taproot and is not a good choice for transferring, choose a permanent location when planting.


  • Make a broad hole rather than a deep one. Create a hole that is twice as big as the deepest roots of your red oak tree.


  • Apply two to three inches of organic mulch, making sure it stays away from the trunk.


  • Scarlet oak trees do not require overwatering or fertilization.

Light Requirements

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Give your scarlet oak lots of sunlight so it may grow well and provide the most beautiful fall foliage.

Soil and Potting

Plant your tree in well-drained, dry soil, ideally with little acidity.


All that’s needed to maintain the scarlet oak’s happiness is medium water. Once developed, drought tolerance is shown.

Temperature and Environment

The ideal growth zones for scarlet oaks are 4 through 9. Extremely dry heat is not good for it.


It’s not required to fertilize your scarlet oak, so resist the desire.


An oak tree should never be pruned in the summer. To prevent the advent of oak wilt disease, it is advisable to prune an oak tree when it is dormant. Using disinfected pruners, remove any dead, diseased, weak, or damaged branches that feel brittle, have wounds, or are discolored from an oak tree to increase air circulation. Eliminate any shoots that are growing straight up or down, as well as any crossed limbs. Every season, prune up to one-third of the old wood.

Propagating Scarlet Oak Tree

The most popular method of spreading oak trees, notwithstanding its slowness, is by the use of acorns, which are essentially the tree’s seed enclosed in a very hard shell. Usually, acorns do not become oak trees because, when they fall from the tree, animals either gather them up or they lie beneath the tree without sufficient light or nutrients to support growth. Following a late-season harvest of a large number of acorns, follow these steps:

  1. Peel off the acorns’ tops.


  2. After five minutes, place the acorns in a dish of water to determine whether ones are viable. Throw away acorns that are floating; they are not viable.


  3. You can now stratify your acorns, which entails creating the illusion of a frigid environment to fool the seeds into sprouting. Once the acorns have dried, place them in a plastic baggie with damp sawdust, vermiculite, perlite, or peat. Close the bag.


  4. Refrigerate the bag for a duration of 45 to 60 days. Look for the acorns to start germination at that period.


  5. Place the sprouted acorn in a little container filled with high-quality potting soil and maintain moisture.
  6. Place the pot in a location that receives direct morning sunlight and afternoon shade, and that is moderately warm without being overly hot.


  7. The seedling can be moved into a permanent full-sun area in your yard when it is about a foot tall.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Numerous pests, such as leafeaters, cankerworm, forest tent caterpillars, gypsy moths, borers, and a host of other pests, can harm oak trees.

Scarlet oak trees may experience issues due to a fungal disease called oak wilt. It is impossible to save oak wilt-infected trees. Scarlet oak trees are equally susceptible to cankers. Additionally, fungi can induce heart rot.

Common Problems With Scarlet Oak Tree

With the exception of growing in the incorrect kind of soil (alkaline) and contracting the common illness oak wilt, oak trees are generally problem-free. Observe the following:

Yellowing Leaves

The presence of chlorosis on leaves indicates that the tree is struggling due to the alkaline soil. To increase the soil’s acidity, it is best to alter it, especially by adding sulfur.

Browning Leaves

A fungal disease called oak wilt may be the cause of leaves that are mostly green in the center but turn brown around the margins on a tree. Oak wilt typically causes the leaves to wilt and fall off in the spring and summer. It is known that sap beetles use the wounds on trees to disperse this illness. A tree that has the illness cannot be rescued. Pruning trees between April and August is not advised since sap beetles might enter newly opened wounds during this time. Prevention is always preferable.

Also Read:  Taylor Juniper Complete Guide To Grow And Care

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