Oak trees are one of the most popular shade trees. Most of the trees are deciduous, but live Oak that grows in the southern U.S. states can be evergreen. These are hardwood trees that may grow well over 200 years. Oaks are commonly used as windbreaks and their wood is very popular for furniture and flooring.
Oaks are spread all over the northern temperate zones and grow to an average height of 50 to 70 feet. They can be found in a wide variety of habitat ranging from seacoasts to high mountains and the wet lowlands.
Oak trees have broad leaves that are spirally arranged on the branches. Depending on the species, leaves may be lobed or have a serrated or smooth margin. Flowers are catkins, which are produced in spring.
The most distinctive characteristics of the oak trees are the nut-like fruits acorns. Acorns are a favorite food of a number of animals including birds, deer and tree dwellers like squirrels and chipmunks.
The forest tent caterpillar, gypsy moth and the oak leaftier are some insects that can cause harm to oak trees. Oaks are usually pretty hardy but can be susceptible to several diseases including the fungus anthracnose and oak wilt.
The Bur oak has a massive trunk and a broad crown and usually grows to about 70 feet tall. Its leaves are 4 to 10 inches long with deep and rounded lobes. Pin oak get to 60 to 70 feet tall with a spread of 25 to 40 feet. Its leaves are glossy and dark green in the summer months, but change to red or bronze in the fall. English oak reach a height of 50 to 70 feet. Its branches grow out almost horizontally and give the tree a broad shape that makes it an ideal shade tree. White oak are usually the tallest at 100 feet tall with a mature spread of 50 to 80 feet. Its leaves are dark green until autumn when they change to brown or dark red. The white oak is more resistant to diseases and insects than most other oaks.