Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Swamp Laurel Oak (Red Oak)
Quercus laurifolia

Leaves are simple, alternate, tardily deciduous, variable in shape and size ranging from spatulate, oblanceolate, to obovate, up to 4 inches long, and apex with a bristle tip. Leaves are occasionally shallowly lobed. Bark is gray-black and furrowed often showing white ridges on smaller stems. On larger trees bark becomes brown and blocky. Fruit is an acorn less that 1 inch long with the cap covering up to half of the acorn and maturing in two growing seasons. Swamp laurel oak is distinguished from laurel oak by greater variability in leaf shape, darker and more furrowed bark on large trees, and habitat. Form is up to 30 m (100 ft) in height, often with a swollen buttressed trunk. Swamp laurel oak is found on bottomland sites in the coastal plain.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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