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Consider Planting an Oak in Your Yard


Red and White Oaks - Quercus Species:

Oaks are great trees to plant in your yard and you will find one from the many oak species available to choose from. Oaks have always suffered from a "slow growth" image to the favor of planting quick growing, short-lived native and exotic trees. I think oak gets a bad wrap in this case and am thankful to those with patience who plant our cultivated red and white oaks.

I especially want to encourage the planting of red, white and live oaks which includes the northern and southern reds, scarlet, laurel, water, bur, American white. An oak is the state tree of Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland and New Jersey.

Habit and Range:

You can find an oak species growing naturally in all 48 states. There are white and live oaks in the west. Live, red and white oaks populate the east - oaks are everywhere and are the most popular tree in the United States. In fact, the oak has been selected as America's national tree by the National Arbor Day Foundation and found in every North American state and province.

Strong Cultivars:

Best cultivars by preferred oak species:

White Oaks - 'Jasper', 'Lincoln', 'Crimson Spire'

Red and Scarlet Oaks - Red 'Splendens'

Live Oaks - 'Highrise', 'Southern Shade'

Identification of the Oaks:

Oak Plant Hardiness Zones:

Oaks hardy through zone 3 if selected from northern sources...

See Plant Hardiness Zones

Expert Comments:

"Bur oak...is a majestic, rugged tree, extremely variable even for an oak, and tolerates a wide range of habitats...under favorible conditions, it ranks among the most impressive of all trees." - Guy Sternberg, Native Trees for North American Landscapes

"If but one oak could grace my garden, this (scarlet oak) would be the choice."- Michael Dirr, Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs

"Amoung the 600 or so oak species...an elite few of these, in the right place at the right time, have inspired the kind of awe and legend attached to gods and heroes. Such trees are mainly of the white oak group." - Arthur Plotnik, The Urban Tree Book

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