Oak Tree General Information

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Oak Tree General Information

Oak trees are classified in the genus Quercus and among the family of beeches, or Fagaceae. These trees are categorized as either white or red. Identifying an oak tree can be accomplished by observing its acorns, leaves and bark.

Oak tree bark when the tree is young looks silvery brown and has a smooth surface. More mature trees usually have fissured bark that includes deep ridges and grooves. The bark may be either light gray if the tree is a white oak species or extremely dark if it is a red oak species.

Leaves on oak trees typically are identified by their lobed leaves. The leaves of white oaks have rounded tips and lobes while red oak leaves have pointed tips.

Acorns on red oaks are slow to mature, requiring about two seasons. These acorns are larger and heavier than those produced by white oaks. White oak acorns can mature in a single season.

Altogether, there are approximately 450 species of oak trees. Nearly 60 of these are native to North America. Most of these species are deciduous, though there are rare examples that are evergreen.

These huge tees can reach 100 feet or taller. Because their branches are incredibly strong, it is not unusual to see specimens with branches that are 135 feet long.