Oaks are found along our trails in the old growth forest. The most noted Red Oak is along the northern border of our park near the beaver dam/pond area. This oak measures 17.4 feet in circumference, approximately 5' 7" in diameter with an height of 103.9 feet and a spread of 60.5 feet. The age of this tree has not been determined. You will also see along our trails other oak trees with black or dark bark similar to the Red Oak, like the Black Oak which is common to this area and Bear Oak which is not. They are shown below.
Northern Red Oak, Quercus rubra L.
Fagaceae Beech family
Text by: Ivan L. Sander
Northern red oak (Quercus rubra), also known as common red oak, eastern red oak, mountain red oak, and gray oak, is widespread in the East and grows on a variety of soils and topography, often forming pure stands. Moderate to fast growing, this tree is one of the more important lumber species of red oak and is an easily transplanted, popular shade tree with good form and dense foliage.
Northern red oak is the only native oak extending northeast to Nova Scotia. It grows from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec, to Ontario, in Canada; from Minnesota South to eastern Nebraska and Oklahoma; east to Arkansas, southern Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. Outliers are found in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Northern red oak has been extensively planted as an ornamental because of its symmetrical shape and brilliant fall foliage.
The acorns are an important food for squirrels deer, turkey, mice, voles, and other mammals and birds.
Black Oak, Quercus velutina Lam.
Fagaceae -- Beech family
Ivan L. Sander
Black oak (Quercus velutina) is a common, medium-sized to large oak of the eastern and midwestern United States. It is sometimes called yellow oak, quercitron, yellowbark oak, or smoothbark oak. It grows best on moist, rich, well-drained soils, but it is often found on poor, dry sandy or heavy glacial clay hillsides where it seldom lives more than 200 years. Good crops of acorns provide wildlife with food. The wood, commercially valuable for furniture and flooring, is sold as red oak. Black oak is seldom used for landscaping.
Black oak is widely distributed from southwestern Maine west in New York to extreme southern Ontario, southeastern Minnesota, and Iowa; south in eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, central Oklahoma, and eastern Texas; and east to northwestern Florida and Georgia.
Bear Oak, Quercus ilicilolia Wan.
Fagaceae -- Beech family