Nebraska Forest Service



Date of this Version



Issued by Nebraska Forest Service. Copyright 2005 University of Nebraska.


The northern red oak (Quercus rubra) has a national reputation. Oak was selected by the National Arbor Day Foundation as the National Tree for the United States and a northern red oak was planted in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the vote in 2001. Oaks grow in every state in the Union. Red oak is possibly the most popular of the oaks, especially in the Nebraska – Iowa region. Bur oak may run a strong second. Quercus means oak in Latin and rubra means red. Red oak is native from the east coast all the way to the center of the country including Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. Florida is the only exception. Oak is an important commercial species and its wood is used for fine furniture as well as flooring, cabinetry, and veneer for paneling. And in the winter, oak makes great firewood.