How fast do red oak trees grow is a worry, as they have their giant stature, standing perfectly for shades. Many homes grow red oak of the Fagaceae family for shades and aesthetics.

Understanding Speed and Factors

However, it can be daunting for smaller homes to accommodate the tree for its faster growth rate, so, how fast do red oak trees grow every year?

Keep reading to know its growth rate, an ideal place for a plantation, growing tips, and everything related to northern red oaks. 

How Fast Can Red Oak Trees Grow?

Red oak trees will grow by two feet every year, and as time passes, the height of the tree will grow as well and the establishment will be stronger, also, its circumference will be roughly one to two feet, or slightly bigger than it was.

Quercus rubra, is another name for this tree, and they are known for their massive size. Often, these trees grow so big that only a few can make an entire forest or cover a larger landscape. On average, the northern red oaks can quickly grow 60 to 70 feet. Some will even grow over 100 feet, also, their average circumference can be between 30 feet to 70 feet.

Although there are many subspecies of red oak trees, all the species will grow one foot to two feet each year. Compared to white oak trees, red oaks grow faster, because you will see white oaks growing for 12 inches to 24 inches annually. Also, White Oaks live for a very long time!

Depending on the species and growing conditions, the growth rate might vary slightly, but that’s not a big deal. So, let’s look at the different species and their growth rate. It will help you know which red oak species is ideal for growing in your home yard.

How To Make a Red Oak Grow Fast and Strong?

To make red oak tree grow fast and strong, provide it with the right sunlight, and the right type of soil, and the correct watering requirements, the weather shouldn’t be harsh, and fertilizer isn’t needed. It also depends on the growing season and if the harvest is seedling or acorn. 

Growing Red Oak Fast and Strong

Growing red oaks is relatively easy, thanks to their hardiness, but you can only grow them with care. So, you must maintain proper soil, growing conditions, and sunlight and feed it with suitable fertilizers.

Red oak is highly resistant to cold, summer, and humidity, which means that you will find the red oak trees relatively easy to grow. It can grow almost on any soil with slightly high nutrients. You need to water it a lot during the growing phase, and that’s all.

– Sunlight

Red oak grows and thrives in full to partial sunlight. As a result to this, you should find a place with enough sunlight to plant oaks and grow them faster. Thus, you must try planting oaks in vast open spaces with enough sunlight, on the other hand, remember that if the tree doesn’t receive enough sunlight, it won’t grow.

– Soil Type

Oaks are open about their soil type. Hence, you may grow it on any soil type, however, experts suggest you grow the red oaks on sandy soil with adequate drainage. It will keep the tree happy and boosts its growth rate. The soil needs to be slightly acidic.

Red Oak Soil Requirements

You must ensure the soil has a five to 6.5 pH level for perfect growth. Plus, the soil needs to be optimally nutrient rich for proper growth.

– Watering Requirements

You must water your oak tree weekly during the first few years of its growth because the soil needs to be moisturized to help the oak roots spread deep inside the soil. What’s more, oaks need plenty of water for proper development. You can follow a rule for watering it, which is on average, you will need 10 gallons of water for each inch diameter of the trunk.

– Weather and Fertilizer

Red oaks are naturally resistant to both cold and hot conditions. As a result, you will see them in abundance in different regions. They will usually survive cold, humid, and hot conditions unless it is too harsh. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about its growing conditions.

Thankfully, oaks develop without any additional fertilizers. Mother earth will take care of the oak trees as long as the soil is suitable.

– Growing Seasons

When we discuss red oaks’ growth rate, we must also understand its growing process. It helps in managing the tree better. Also, with proper knowledge of growing seasons, you can determine the best time to plant red oaks around your place.

Moreover, you should note that red oak trees will grow in two seasons. They grow during the summer and spring seasons. On the contrary, the tree stops growing in the winter seasons, when it gets colder and much more challenging. The growth rate may vary in the two seasons, depending on the favorable weather conditions.

Red Oak Tree in Summer

When you grow red oaks from its acorns, as the acorns fall in the family of nuts and are used for growing purposes for these trees. As red oak matures, it will produce more and more acorns and on average, a matured red oak will produce 1000 acorns monthly. The acorns will mature in two seasons, and you can grow new red oaks from it.  

As the tree gets older, it produces more acorns as fruit, and as a result when the tree becomes 40 to 50 years old, it will start producing acorns in abundance. Besides growing the tree from acorns, it is widely used as a fruit in different regions, also, it is an excellent source of daily meals for much native wildlife in America.

You will see squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and white-tailed deer eating the acorns during their growing period.

– Seedlings vs. Acorns

Many think growing red oaks from acorns is the only way to plant them. Well, that’s not true since you can also grow red oaks from seedlings. So, which one is better? Should you grow it from acorns or seedlings?

The answer is it will depend on the growing conditions of the tree. First, you must assess the weather, soil, and surrounding where you wish to grow red oaks. Then, you could decide on the proper growing technique for the tree.

  • Growing red oak wood the acorns are relatively easier and more manageable. It won’t suffer from the harmful transplant shock unless you grow it in the container. However, squirrels and raccoons always look for acorns as an easy meal. Thus, you must ensure the safety of the acorns when you use them for an oak plantation.
  • On the contrary, seedlings are safe from wildlife, so, you may plant the seedlings on the ground and remain tension free. But there’s a catch to it. Transplanting the seedlings from the container to the ground makes them vulnerable to transplant shock. It might reduce the growth rate of the oaks.

As you see, growing oaks from seedlings and acorns have unique advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to decide how to grow oak plants.

What Is The Growth Rate of Different Subspecies of Red Oak Trees?

The growth rate of different red oak trees would include the northern red oaks, the Texas, the southern, and the shumard red oaks. These trees have various growth rate varies both in length and circumference, which is why you must be mindful when planting them. 

Red oak trees are characterized by their giant size and excellent shading features. A few of its subspecies are shingle, northern pin, black, blackjack, and more. These subspecies of the larger red oak tree group have various growth rates.

– Northern Red Oaks

The Northern red oaks are the most common of all red oaks, also, this is the biggest tree of all its subspecies. On average, a northern red oak tree grows 24 to 36 inches annually. A fully matured northern red can be 50 to 80 feet tall with 40 to 60 feet circumference. Its growth rate is typically moderate to fast.

Northern Red Oaks Trees

Hence, it grows fast enough to provide exceptional shade in urban areas. Also, it is drought-resistant and grows brilliantly even in rough conditions. Thus, growing it is going to be easy. You can grow it in different conditions from zone five to zone nine.

– Texas Red Oak

Quercus texana, or the Texas red oak, is among the smallest ones in the red oak group. Its hardiness zone is six to nine, so it grows in different conditions. A matured Texas red oak can be 30 to 40 feet tall, with the largest ones reaching 80 feet height.

You can expect it to grow 24 to 36 inches annually. So, it can reach its maturity and average height within 10 to 15 years of tree plantation. The tree grows moderately fast too, and when you are planting the Texas red oak can be a brilliant option if you wish to enjoy proper shades faster.

– Southern Red Oak

Quercus falcata​, or the southern red oak, is a slow-growing subspecies among the red oak group. You can grow it in shade zones five to nine. Nonetheless, you must remember that the southern red oak has cold sensitivity. So, it won’t grow well in cold conditions.

Southern Red Oak Trees

On average, southern red oaks will grow 12 to 36 inches annually. Although the growth rate varies, people said this variant of oaks can grow 18 inches per year, also, they can grow 40 to 50 feet tall in their entire lifetime. You must wait to enjoy its shade and this is due to the fact that they have a slow-growing rate. Its medium size makes it an excellent option for urban landscaping.

The southern red oak is cold-sensitive, so it will be ideal for growing it in shade zone six. It will safeguard the tree from excess cold and provide it with enough sunshine. It is more important during the growing seasons for red oaks.

– Shumard Red Oaks

Shumard oaks will also grow 24 inches to 36 inches annually, so, it is also a fast-growing oak. This oak variant is famous for its orange-to-red foliage in spring. It brings fantastic aesthetics to any landscape. You can grow it in zone five to zone nine with different shading. It will grow 40 to 60 feet tall and spread 40 to 60 feet when fully matured.


1. Which Is the Fastest-growing Oak?

Nuttall oak, aka red oak, is considered the fastest-growing oak among its group. It is ideal for canopy and serves the wildlife with acorns to feed happily.


With their brilliant canopy and foliage, red oak trees will grow 24 to 36 inches yearly. The growth rate will slow as it matures, yielding more acorns, here’s what we covered:

  • Red oaks are relatively carefree trees and can grow in almost any place. You need to ensure that it gets enough space to grow properly.
  • Oak trees can live more than 100 years with ease. As a result, it will be a permanent canopy for your home and landscape.
  • While red oak is among the fastest-growing oaks, burr oaks are the slowest-growing oaks. It will grow one foot annually and 25 feet at age 20.

Red oaks might only sometimes suit your home yards if you have ample open space. If you have such open spaces, growing the red oaks will be an excellent investment for the future.


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