An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Northern Red Oak Buds

12-23-14  red oak terminal buds IMG_6865There are approximately 600 species of oaks in the genus Quercus, all of which are in the Beech family. This genus has two subgroups, the red oaks and the white oaks. The leaves of trees in the red oak group have sharply pointed lobes with bristles. The white oak group has leaves with rounded lobes lacking bristles. Although usually there are some leaves on an oak tree that persist well into the winter, it is helpful to be able to identify a species by its buds alone. Oaks tend to have multiple terminal buds. Northern Red Oak’s terminal buds are large, pointed, cone-shaped and covered with reddish-brown, mostly hairless scales that overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed.

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3 responses

  1. Dear Mary, I think Ken Bora is hiding with his tail between his legs after you sent that second picture. Just came in from a slow tedious ski though it sure was beautiful out there. Tulla is happy anyway.I found another tree.this time, a big one and I will take the top ten feet. I know this is supposed to turn to rain but for now it’s nice. Love, Meeze


    December 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm

  2. Looks rather like a turkey foot.

    December 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm

  3. Looks just like a skeletalized picture of my dogs forepaw: 4 toes and a dewclaw. How nature can be mirrored.

    December 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

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