WSU Clark County Extension

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Scarlet Oak

Scientific name: Quercus coccinea

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:4 to 9
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:70 ft
Width:50 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April
Bloom Color:Yellow
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Scarlet Oak, as its name implies, has one of the best fall colors for all the different oaks grown in the Pacific Northwest.

This deciduous tree often grows to a height of 70’, with a width of 50’ with a pyramidal shape and a horizontal branching structure. Leaves are arranged alternately in a simple fashion. They are 3” to 7” long and have an oval shape and bristle-tipped lobes. This species features deep C-shaped sinuses between the lobes, which vary in depth and width. Conversely Pin Oak is known for its U" shaped sinuses.

During the summer the foliage is shiny green above and pale beneath.

This is a monoecious species (separate male and female parts). Male flowers consist of slender yellow-green catkins while female flowers are borne on very short axilliary spikes. Both types of flowers appear with the leaves in spring.

Female flowers produce the acorns, which are one half to one inch long, with the cap covering 1/2 of the nut.

Scarlet Oak thrives in full sun to partial sun. It does very well on dry, acidic soils. On alkaline sites leaf chlorosis and stunting has been reported.

On the west coast Scarlet does well with few pests.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234