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Scarlet Oak
(Quercus coccinea)

Scarlet Oak Trunk Scarlet Oak Fall Leaf Scarlet Oak

At the end of October, the peak of fall colors is waning, and leaves are accumulating on the forest floor. The leaves of Scarlet Oak, one of the most colorful contributors to this fall display, turn bright red before falling. You can see this tree along our Arboretum trails. It is a member of the red oak group, with its sharply lobed, bristle-tipped leaves and deep, C-shaped sinuses extending close to the mid-vein - features distinguishing it from northern red oak and black oak. The swollen bases of many older trunks is caused by the same fungus that causes chestnut blight. Scarlet Oak ranges from New England, south along the Appalachians and Piedmont to Alabama and Georgia, and west to Michigan, Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi. The wood is used as lumber, flooring, and furniture. Its acorns are favorite food for deer, small mammals, and birds.

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu