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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Red Oak

One of the fun finds at Nordhouse this week, was some red oak. Actually, all oaks with points on the leaves instead of rounded lobes are called "red oaks." The others are "white oaks." However, only one, Quercus rubra is the actual red oak.

Here are some leaves, and sure enough, they have points.

red oak leaves

But there are other things to pay attention to to narrow it down. For one thing, count the number of lobes on the leaves. Most of these have 9. Red oak can have 7-9, the others 5-7. So, if you count a lot of 9s, you've got red oak. Also, the notches are more V shaped than U shaped. I know, that's hard to see unless you have others to compare. I'll try to do that another day. And to distinguish it from pin oak and scarlet oak, notice that the notches (sinuses) aren't very deep.

I am showing you the red oak this week because the acorns are really distinctive, and it's a good year for acorns. Here they are- almost an inch across.

red oak acorns

They aren't always quite this big, but the notable thing is that they are rather roundly square. They are about as wide as long. Also note that the cap only covers about a quarter of the fruit.

They aren't rare or anything, but I see more of the black oak, so it was a nice find for me.

See It's the Oak's Turn
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Secondary Roads said...

Thanks for the good lessons. I have a special fondness for oak--both the tree and the wood.

rainfield61 said...

I am fond of the wood.

The special scent.

Ann said...

Quite interesting. I'll have to check out the oak leaves all over my yard right now and see which they are

marie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today...it was so nice of Ann to feature me on her's.
I have one red oak and one white oak in my yard. I also have a metal picnic table and a ton of acorns...what a racket!!!

Sharkbytes said...

Chuck- there are so many kinds, I have most of the leaves learned, but the acorns are still a puzzle for me.

rainfield- oak here doesn't have any special fragrance

Ann- just start with white or red!

Marie- Hi there! Nice to meet you. O boy, that would be noisy in a good acorn year.

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