Red Oak, Northern red oak, Eastern red oak, mountain red oak, gray oak, champion oak
Description: deciduous tree
Place of origin: eastern North America
Urban habitat: planted as a shade tree in the urban environment and found growing in disturbed woodlands, along highways, railroads; tolerant of air pollution, drought, shade, compacted soil; cold temperatures; thrives in full sun; grows rapidly.
Ecological function: provides heat reduction in paved areas, erosion control, food and habitat for wildlife.
History: Quercus rubra is a hardy species that does well in the urban environment and is a common street tree. Many Native American tribes for its wood as well as for medicinal purposes to treat diarrhea, skin aliments, mouth sores, fevers, digestive problems, asthma, laryngitis, coughs, heart problems, foot problems, gonorrhea, hemorrhaging, used as an antiseptic and tonic. Its acorns and seeds were consumed as food, its bark used for making baskets and dyes, and its leaves used as a tool in cooking and in decorative beadwork. It is one of the most commonly used hardwoods in the US, used to make flooring, furniture, millwork, fenceposts, pilings and pulpwood.