Notable Features: Red Oak is one of the most shade tolerant of the oaks, making it a good choice to grow under existing trees. A few hours of sun per day is all it needs to grow. Fall color is an outstanding red.
Attracts: The foliage of Northern Red Oak and other oaks is eaten by the caterpillars of several Hairstreak butterflies (Satyrium spp. & others), caterpillars of the skippers Erynnis juvenalis (Juvenal's Duskywing) and Erynnis brizo (Sleepy Duskywing), and the caterpillars of many moths. Moth species that feed on Northern Red Oak include Anisota senatoria (Orange-Striped Oakworm), Catocala ilia (Ilia Underwing), and Ulolonche culea (Sheathed Quaker). Galls are formed by the larvae of Amphibolips confluenta (Large Oak Apple Gall Wasp) and Dryocosmus quercuspalustris (Succulent Oak Gall Wasp). The larvae of some beetles bore through the wood of these trees; this includes Arrhenodes minutus (Oak Timberworm), Enaphalodes rufulus (Red Oak Borer), Goes debilis (Oak Branch Pruner), and many others. The leaf beetles Metachroma laevicolle and Xanthonia striata feed on the foliage, while larvae of the acorn weevils Curculio nasicus and Curculio sulcatulus eat the meat of acorns. A variety of small insects have been observed to feed on Northern Red Oak: they include various aphids, especially Myzocallis spp.; the leafhoppers Eratoneura abjecta, Eratoneura acantha, Eratoneura lenta, Eratoneura manus, Eratoneura marilandicae, Eratoneura protuma,Eratoneura stannardi, and Erythridula cornipes; and a large number of treehoppers, especially Cyrtolobus spp. The plant bugs Lygocoris omnivagus, Phytocoris depictus, and Pseudoxenetus regalis also feed on this tree. Notwithstanding the bitter meat, the large acorns of Northern Red Oak are an attractive source of food to many birds such as the Wood Duck, Wild Turkey, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, and others. Many birds construct nests in the branches of this tree, while tree squirrels, bats, woodpeckers, and other birds have dens or nests in its cavities.