An oak tree can live for more than 200 years and will produce hundreds of acorns annually when fully mature. A deciduous tree that belongs to the Beech family, the oak tree's scientific name is either Quercus or Lithocarpus. Numerous oak tree species grow around the country with three of the most common being Live Oak, Northern Red Oak and White Oak.
Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
The Live Oak tree features evergreen broadleaf foliage. It grows best in USDA cold-hardy zones 7 to 10, or areas of the country with temperatures that do not fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The height can range from 30 to 80 feet with a spread anywhere from 40 to 100 feet across. The Live Oak tree requires soil with a pH level from 3.7 to 7.0 that drains well. A Live Oak tree can live hundreds of years and is often selected as a shade tree or wind barrier. Known as a grand tree, it typically grows covered with Spanish Moss in southern areas of the country.
Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
The Northern Red Oak tree's foliage becomes red in the fall and thrives in USDA cold-hardy zones 3 to 8. These zones encompass southern Alaska south through the country to northern regions of Florida. This fast-growing tree reaches heights of 60 to 100 feet with spreads ranging from 40 to 50 feet. It can grow in most types of soil, making it easier to transplant than other trees. The Northern Red Oak tree grows well along city streets and in parks. It is used for shade and produces leaves with from 7 to 11 pointed lobes.
White Oak (Quercus alba)
White Oak trees have oblong leaves that first appear red to pink to gray during spring, change to a deep green or aqua in summer months and then turn brown to a dark burgundy red in autumn. The White Oak tree grows in USDA cold-hardy zones 3 to 9, which include areas from southern Alaska south through the country to central Florida. The White Oak reaches heights ranging from 50 to 100 feet with spreads of 50 to 80 feet. The tree requires soil with pH level from 3.7 to 7.0 that drains well. It is often selected for large areas and can live for hundreds of years.