Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Southern Red Oak, Swamp Red Oak, Spanish Oak
Quercus falcata

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Quercus (KWER-kus) (Info)
Species: falcata (fal-KAY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Quercus trilobafalcata var. triloba
Synonym:Quercus triloba

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
4.5 or below (very acidic)
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Dec 16, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I've only seen this species wild in two places. First in Nottingham Park in far southern Chester County in se PA in the serpentine barrens of shallow, acid, dry soil. Secondly, there are a few excellent specimens in Lloyd Park in Downingtown in se PA in good quality clay soil that is slightly acid. Handsome shade tree that develops a taproot, so it is not usually grown by nurseries, unless native plant ones that grow it in containters, not B&B.

Positive Fires_in_motion On Feb 7, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

These are very uncommon in the New Orleans area for some reason; the only ones I know of are some ~20' tall ones planted in front of the Lowe's in Metairie. There's also a stunningly huge old one growing right behind the levee in Wallace, LA, near the Veterans Bridge. This one is inundated with several feet of standing water every spring (as snow from 31 northern states melts and enters the Mississippi River) for weeks to months at a time. So I'm not sure why people say it thrives only in dry upland soils. This one resembles a Southern Live Oak in its massive branching structure. It does not appear to have any sort of rot or other water-related illnesses. I'd love to buy one of these trees, but no one down here even sells them. My only "complaint" about Q. falcata would be that the dead leaves remain on the tree throughout winter. (I know there's a botanical word for this that starts with "t," but it escapes me right now...)

Positive redoak77 On Nov 24, 2009, redoak77 from Knoxville, TN wrote:

Often grows with shortleaf pine in the Tennessee Valley. Very large specimens are indeed impressive.

Positive jqpublic On Jan 31, 2008, jqpublic from Cary, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Love this tree. Have a large double-trunked specimen in my yard. It is actually 2 trees that have merged together over the years. The larger trunk is probably 75-100 years old and the smaller trunk is proabably 40-60 years old

Neutral TREEHUGR On Dec 24, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

One of the most common upland oaks in the southeast US. In Florida, it can be found growing in more counties than the other broad leafed deciduous oaks and is equally likely to occur in wet or dry sites.

Has a rounded mature growth shape to 50-80' with broad leaves that are 4-8" in size with small acorns 0.5-.625" in size.

Desirable for lumber, desirable for fall color and desirable for wildlife.

Neutral smiln32 On Nov 9, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Southern Red Oak is a tree for poor, dry, acidic uplands, especially upper slopes in the Appalachians. It is found mixed with other upland, poor site oaks, especially scarlet, black, white and post oaks.

It is intolerant and somewhat resistant to fire. It is tolerant of salty conditions and aklaline soils, though.

Positive nick89 On Aug 13, 2004, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

A large oak that provides plenty of shade. The most common oak where I live, there are several large wild specimens on my land.
They do however produce a lot of leaf litter, acorns, and dead branches but are great for dry sites and even are frequently found with pines.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama
Brewton, Alabama
Georgiana, Alabama
New Market, Alabama
Saraland, Alabama
Huntington, Arkansas
Sherwood, Arkansas
Benton, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Maysville, Kentucky
Edgard, Louisiana
Metairie, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
Florence, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Jackson, Missouri
Raleigh, North Carolina
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Nottingham, Pennsylvania
Campobello, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Knoxville, Tennessee

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