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



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Gold (yellow-orange)


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama

Brewton, Alabama

Georgiana, Alabama

New Market, Alabama

Saraland, Alabama

Huntington, Arkansas

Sherwood, Arkansas

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

I've seen this species wild in three 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. The third place is in southern Delaware in sandy soil and in dunes around Rehoboth Beach. Handsome shade tree that develops a taproot, so it is not usually grown by nurseries, unless native plant ones that grow it in containers, not B&B. Mossy Oak Nursery and TN Nursery sell saplings. Its small acorns are eaten by a good number of birds and mammals. It lives about 150 years and grows about 1 foot/year. This and other oaks that are not the popular nursery oaks as Pin, Northern Red, and Swamp White, ... read more


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 ... read more


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

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


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


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.


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.


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.