Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) –
Scarlet Oaks are a large deciduous tree with a rounded, open canopy of glossy foliage that can reach 75 ft tall occasionally reaching 150 ft tall; it is well known for its gorgeous fall color. Its bark is brown with fine scaly ridges, the inner bark is red to orangish-pink. New growth twigs are smooth and reddish-brown in color; oblong, reddish brown buds are clustered with 5-angled cross sections. Leaves are oval to elliptic, 3- 6” long and 3-5” wide, margins with 5 - 9 lobes; the top of the leaves are a glossy light green, with tufts of matted woolly down beneath. Leaves turn scarlet red in the fall. The catkins appear just before the new leaves emerge. The acorns of this oak are small to medium in size (½ - 1 inch long) and form in pairs or singly. Concentric rings occasionally form around the tip of the nut; they mature in two years and ripen in the fall. The scales of the bowl-shaped cap are shiny, generally rigid and covers about half of the nut.
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) –
The Shumard oak is a medium sized, deciduous tree that is pyramidal in youth but eventually spreads into a broad open canopied tree with age. This tree typically grows moderate to fast, and to a height of 40-60'. Shiny, dark green leaves (6-8" long) with deep, spiny lobes (7-9 lobes) turn reddish brown late in autumn. Insignificant flowers appear in early spring as the leaves emerge. Egg shaped acorns (1/4-1 inch) with a flattened, shallow cup will mature the second year. Acorns will not appear until the tree 25 years old or older.
California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii) –
California Black Oaks are deciduous trees that have broad crowns with multiple stems that fork out repeatedly, mature trees will reach heights of 50 – 110’ and may live to be 500 years old. The root system is generally comprised of surface roots and several deep vertical roots, which eventually can spread laterally over bedrock. Leaves are simple (3-5” long), sharply cut into 7-11 lobes which are toothed, and each lobe comes to a point. The upper surface of the leaf is glossy green, gray below and both surfaces of young leaves are sometimes fuzzy with a dusty rose or soft pink hue. The autumn color is yellow to yellow orange. This oak start to produce seeds as early as 30 years old, but they usually don’t produce heavily before age 80. The flowers appear in spring, ranging from mid-March through mid-May; separate male and female flowers are borne on the same plant. The greenish red male flowers appear on leaf nodes of branches from the previous year, forming hairy catkins (1.5 – 3” long). Female flowers emerge from on leaf nodes of branches of the current year. Acorns are 1” long and the cup encloses about half the nut; like most oaks acorns will mature the second year.