Walton's Plant Library

Nuttall Oak*

Quercus nuttallii

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Nuttall Oak (Quercus nuttallii) at Walton's Garden Center

Nuttall Oak

Nuttall Oak

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Nuttall Oak (Quercus nuttallii) at Walton's Garden Center

Nuttall Oak foliage

Nuttall Oak foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  80 feet

Spread:  50 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Other Names:  Nuttall's Oak, Red Oak, Red River Oak


A beautiful and artistic shade tree producing a wide spreading, rounded crown,with beautiful red fall color; best for larger landscapes; tolerates clay or wet soils, prefers loose, slightly acidic soils; adaptable to urban environments

Ornamental Features

Nuttall Oak has dark green foliage with light green veins which emerges burgundy in spring. The glossy lobed leaves turn an outstanding red in the fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. However, the fruit can be messy in the landscape and may require occasional clean-up.

Landscape Attributes

Nuttall Oak is a deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting squirrels to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Messy

Nuttall Oak is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Nuttall Oak will grow to be about 80 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 50 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 7 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 300 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Shade 
Fall Color  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features