Resilient, long-living, substantial, easily grown, and with beautiful fall colors, the Nuttall Oak is a cherished oak variation and classic shade tree…
What distinguishes the lovely Nuttall Oak?
Ample sun-blocking canopy.
Rich autumnal coloration.
Significant habitat and food source to a variety of wildlife.
Sturdy lumber that is commercially valuable.
Keeping up appearances…
A mature Nuttall Oak can typically grow up to 50-80 ft. high, its pyramidal structure extending to a 35-50 ft. span. Similar in appearance to the Scarlet Oak and Shumard Oak, the Nuttall Oak—or Quercus Nuttalli—is a Fagaceae family member, belonging to the red oak family, and characterized by its decidedly longer and thinner leaves. These are dark green, lobed with intensely deep sinuses and slightly bristled tips; this opulent foliage transforms into shades of rich scarlet and gleaming bronze in the autumn. This species’ yellow-green male-flower catkins appear annually from April to May, brightening the tree’s heavily ridged, gray-black bark. The female flowers are much smaller, inconspicuous and seen on the axils of new leaves. From September to October, this shade tree’s capped acorns emerge, small and bitter but flavorful to squirrels and other mammals.
A friendly recommendation.
The Nuttall Oak is fast-growing, frequently rising at least two feet per year. Initially, its structure appears pyramidal, and develops with little maintenance and care as long as it has adequate room to grow. The species eventually matures into a large round-canopied tree with a wider structure and branches that tilt upward, ensuring proud limbs that stretch out horizontally without drooping and make room to exhibit the tree’s fall colors spectacularly. The Nuttall Oak prefers medium to wet, well-drained soil and thrives beneath direct full sunlight.
Awesome tree trivia!
- This tree’s acorns typically take two years to mature, and are dropped to the ground between September and February.
- This deciduous specimen has a 5-9 hardiness zone rating, and is native to the northeast, south, and southwest coastal regions of the United States. It is found extensively in hardwood forests, along riverbanks and stream sides, and in lowlands and wetlands.
- The national champion Nuttall Oak can be currently found in Washington County, Mississippi, rearing up to an altitude of 110 ft., with a trunk diameter of nearly seven feet.
Photos Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
This Tree's Zone: 5 to 9
Your Growing Zone:
|Fall Foliage||Bright red|
|Bloom Time||April to May|
|Size||50 to 80 feet|
|Spread||35 to 50 feet|