The Q&A Archives: Which Holds Its Leaves In Winter, Red Oak Or Scarlet Oak?

Question: In terms of winter appearance, what are the differences between Quercus rubra and Quercus coccinea? Does one keep its leaves through the spring? Thank you for your help :)

Answer: Pin Oak (Quercus palustris) keeps it's leaves until spring, but Q. rubra and Q. coccinea are deciduous. Quercus rubra, the Northern Red Oak, is fast growing to 60'-75' tall, with spreading branches and a rounded canopy. New leaves are red or bright yellow in spring, dark green in summer, turning dark red, ruddy brown, and then orange in the fall. Quercus coccinea, the Scarlet Oak, grows at a moderate rate, ultimately reaching 65' tall and wide. The bright green leaves turn scarlet where fall nights are cold. Both trees require full sunshine and deep, rich soil. If it's autumn color you're looking for, the best choice for your mild winter area is Quercus rubra.

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