1. Discordo-Pastafarian says

    It seems a little odd to see a Quercus rubra that far south. I seem to remember that N red oak is part of thenorthern hardwood complex.

    Still, Its nice to see the things Im learning about in school in practice.

  2. says

    We are at the southern end of its range but it is well documented here. It could still be a black oak (Q. velutina). I have 8-months dead leaves to go on, but as soon as the twig expert Glenn Galau gets a hold of them we’ll know for sure I hope.

    The property has been a fallow area for at least half a century so I wouldn’t be surprised to find a colony.

  3. says


    Speaking of learning something, I’ve been joking with myself over the idea that the aphids that keep popping up on my indoor miniature rose bush must be using parthenogenesis to reproduce: No matter how many I kill, if I don’t get ’em all, they come back the next day in nearly as many as before. Turns out I was probably right.

  4. says

    They do! I’ve seen pictures of lines of aphids, one smaller than the previous, all reproducing by parthenogenesis. Then they decide to do sex and they turn into completely different black things.

    I’ve also watched and photographed battles between three species of predators going after the aphids with the ant caretakers in high speed trying to ward the predators off.

  5. says

    Looks like Quercus rubra to me. Q. velutina has velutinus (fuzzy) buds, and the bark is blocker, with more pronounced checking. If I had to ID that for the dendrology class I took last semester, I’d call it a red oak.

  6. deb says

    The red oak here (southern Maine) have distinctive red traces in furrows of the main trunk, but the mottled bark on the smaller branches sure looks like red oak.

    Besides being at the southern edge of it’s range, a red oak growing in a damp or poorly drained location, would also be a little small for it’s age. I think 24″ at 160 years is on the small side.

    Since the lower portion of the tree supports everything growing above it (in total), it has to grow thicker faster than individual branches higher up – it seems logical?

    A sharp chain makes a safe saw! Be careful.

  7. says

    I believe the red traces in the furrows are caused by fungus. We occasionally see that here in Connecticut. The best way is either acorns or buds. Red and black oak will hybridize, leading to a spectrum of bark appearances, but the bark is very red oakesque.

  8. deb says

    Thanks John from UConn. I am going to get my magnifying glass out and check on the red stuff. I would never have suspected a fungus! It seems more prominent in winter, but that may be due to more light actually getting to the trunk providing better illumination.

  9. says

    Glenn confirmed on the basis of the leaf and twig that it’s Red Oak. This one is, or was, growing in a wet area, although now that I know what it is I see individuals everywhere along this slope.

    I’ll have to take another look for the furrow fungus.