Photographer & Copyright

© Leila Dasher

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CC BY 4.0

Inclusion in Plant ID / Comparison Guides

This photo is featured in 3 plant ID/comparison guides:

collage of Northern Red Oak and Jack Oak

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) vs. Jack Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

Updated February 15th, 2021

These two species are occasionally confused where their ranges overlap, but they can be distinguished with skill at any time of year. Northern red oak prefers richer sites and is much more shade tolerant. The two species can hybridize and form intergrades, so it may not be possible to identify all individuals.

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collage of Northern Red Oak and Black Oak

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) vs. Black Oak (Quercus velutina)

Updated January 23rd, 2021

Although these species sometimes look blatantly different, significant variation in individual leaf shape and other characteristics can make these species challenging to tell apart in some cases. There is some overlap in habitat, with black oak preferring slightly drier sites and northern red oak being more shade-tolerant. The two species can also hybridize and form intergrades, so it may not be possible to identify all individuals.

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collage of Northern Red Oak and Scarlet Oak

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) vs. Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)

Updated November 6th, 2019

These species of the red oak group are sometimes confused, but are usually easy to tell apart. They overlap more in habitat than some red oaks, but northern red oak prefers richer sites and is more shade-tolerant, whereas scarlet oak can be found on drier sites with thin or poor soils.

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