Why plant Audubon® Native Northern Red Oak Treeling?
Tough and adaptable, Northern Red Oak brings a bit of nature to the city. Urban birds need food too, and native Red Oak supplies it in the form of large, nutritious acorns and an assortment of protein-rich insects that are attracted to this tree. Of course, in rural areas, Red Oak attracts an even wider array of birds. Jays, crows, turkeys, woodpeckers, ducks, and quail make use of the acorns, while many, many songbirds relish the caterpillars and other small bugs that feed on oak leaves. Fast-growing and handsome in all seasons, it’s a people-pleaser, too!
Northern Red Oak is a native forest tree found in the East from New England to Oklahoma. Since pioneer days, its pink-toned wood has been used for furniture and flooring; as firewood it burns hotter than ash. But such talk does not belong on these pages! What we love here is the living tree, and Red Oak is one of the most majestic examples around. The largest in the country is a multi-trunked beauty 36 feet in circumference in Monroe, New York. It takes eight people holding hands to reach around it!
How to use Audubon® Native Northern Red Oak Treeling in the landscape?
If red is your favorite fall tree color, then this is the tree for you! The lush, glossy green leaves turn a bold red in the fall that lights up the sky. Its broad and pyramidal shape makes for wonderful shade. If red isn't your color, once you see this tree, it will be! This handsome native tree will definitely make a bold statement in your landscape.
Hardiness Zone: 4-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native Northern Red Oak Treeling
Northern Red Oak is a fast growing shade tree. Yes, you read that right—an oak that’s fast growing! It turns out that not all oaks are created alike. It’s also easier to transplant than many oaks, though new nursery production methods are making all oaks more plantable. Red Oak prefers full sun, but tolerates some shade, at least for a while—as it does in the wild when it germinates on the forest floor. It’s a remarkably durable city tree, too, coping well with pollution and salt spray.
How To Water
Water twice weekly for the first 3-5 weeks; then water weekly for the remainder of the year until winter. When you water, water slowly and thoroughly. Watering needs may be altered due to extreme weather conditions.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant Food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant Food granular form on an annual basis each fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established as it gives your tree the nutrients it needs to produce lush new growth for the following spring.
How To Prune
A young tree may need a little extra support to ensure that it lives a long and healthy life. Stake your new Treeling with a 6-8 foot tall wood or bamboo stake. Use expandable ties that will stretch as the tree grows, fastening the stake to the main trunk from the base to the top. Check the ties every few months, at least twice a year; ensuring the ties are not digging into the trunk. If there is any sign of this, take the tie off and reattach it, giving the tree more room to grow.
As your tree grows, remove a few of the lower branches each year if you do not want your tree to have lower limbs. Remove these lower branches before they reach 1/2 inch in diameter. It is better to make small cuts to avoid cutting a large, more mature branch - this is too stressful for the tree. Each year, make any corrective pruning needed, paying particular attention to removing damaged branches, rubbing branches, multiple leaders at the top, or suckers at the base. Limit any pruning to no more than 25% of the branching structure in a given year. Pruning benefits the tree and helps to achieve a balanced tree form.
After two or three years you can feel free to remove the stake from the tree.