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Southern Red Oak vs Cherrybark Oak

These two species are frequently confused, to the point where cherrybark oak was once considered a subspecies of southern red oak. Cherrybark oak is mostly limited to moister bottomlands. The two species are usually easily distinguished by differences in leaf shape. The bark is similar but cherrybark tends to have smoother bark.

Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata)

Cherrybark Oak (Quercus pagoda)

A medium to large red oak with, as the name suggests, a more southerly distribution than the northern red oak (Quercus rubra), although their ranges overlap considerably.
A bottomland oak of the southeastern US.
Leaves with a bell-shaped base, irregularly-lobed, with more lobes close to the tip than the base, often asymmetric, with more lobes on one side than the other.
Photo © Ken Kneidel, Public Domain.
Leaves may have a bell-shaped base, but usually have a more angular base. More regularly-lobed, with lobes consistently to the base of each leaf, and more symmetric.
Photo © Alona Bookbinder, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Bark of mature trees is more rugged, with vertical fissues showing numerous horizontal cracks.
Photo © Katja Schulz, CC BY 4.0.
Bark unusually smooth for an oak, even on very old trees.
Photo © Michael Ellis, CC BY 4.0.