How Fast Do Red Oak Trees Grow?

Several different species of the red oak tree exist, each with a prime geographic growing locale that will dictate the pace at which this tree grows. Generally speaking, red oak jumps to an impressive height and width in a relatively short period of time. The tree showcases the grandeur so often associated with the oak family.

The rich grain of the red oak

Hardiness Zones

How fast a red oak tree grows can also be contingent upon its geographic location and particular species. The Northern red oak thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 3 through 8, while the Texas red oak is considered hardy to USDA zones 5B through 9A. The Southern red oak (Quercus falcate) is hardy in zones 7 through 9, an area that encompasses the southern U.S. and states along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Northern Red Oak

The Northern red oak (Quercus rubra) is considered to be a fast grower which, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, denotes a tree that grows in excess of 24 inches annually. It typically achieves a height of between 60 and 75 feet, so the red oak requires approximately 30 years to reach its full height potential. The tree regularly claims a canopy spread of 45 feet.

Southern Red Oak

The Southern red oak grows to a height of between 60 and 80 feet with a canopy spread of 60 to 70 feet. It is considered to have a medium rate of growth which, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, indicates a tree that grows between 13 and 24 inches annually. The trunk is a straight grower with branches well spaced and attached strongly to the tree. The only disease likely to severely damage or kill this tree is oak wilt.

Texas Red Oak

The Texas red oak (Quercus texana) grows to a height of 80 feet with a canopy spread of between 50 and 60 feet. A moderate grower accumulating additional height of between 13 and 24 inches annually, the tree demands full sunshine to achieve its optimum rate of growth. A drought-tolerant tree that still appreciates moist and rich soil -- either alkaline or slightly acidic -- the Texas oak is also highly susceptible to fatal injury via oak wilt.