While Sugar Maples are the most common hardwood in our area and have provided a great deal of colour this Fall (see Trees #3, Sugar Maple), the Northern Red Oak (quercus rubra) is coming into its own. We don’t have very many large specimens of these beautiful trees on the property but there are some good sized ones and quite a large number of small ones are springing up at the edges of several fields as part of the natural reforestation of the abandoned pastures. We do want to see the hardwood forests expand on the farm and definitely will leave these younger trees.
In the past I had difficulty in telling the difference between Northern Red Oak and Black and White oaks but this Fall have made progress in this area.
The leaves of the Northern Red Oak are somewhat distinctive:
But even more distinctive are the acorns:
Our favourite oak tree in the area is growing about 1 km down Morrison Point Road from us.
We have some Northern Red Oak that are not yet as large, but are well on their way to becoming impressive trees, such as this one:
A large number of young oak spring up in various areas seems to indicate a good future for Northern Oak on our property.