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© Etienne Branquart
© Etienne Branquart
© Etienne Branquart
© Etienne Branquart
© Etienne Branquart
Quercus rubra - Red oak

Synonym: Quercus borealis
French name:  Chêne rouge
Dutch name: Amerikaanse eik
Family: Fagaceae
Group: Vascular plants
Origin: North America
Habitat: terrestrial
Introduction:  agri- and horticulture, forestry
ISEIA Score : 10
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 1950
Invasion stage: spread
Spatial distribution: widespread
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: medium
Natural habitats: likely
More on invasiveness: Often planted in parks and woods, Quercus rubra grows on a variety of dry-mesic to mesic sites; it occurs in rich, mesic woods, on sandy plains, rock outcrops and at the outer edges of floodplains. It is intermediate in shade tolerance and is generally considered a midseral species, but its successional status is poorly known. It is generally unable to establish beneath its own canopy. In Lithuania, red oak seedlings have been reported to spread successfully over distances exceeding 300 meters from the parent trees. Its potential to colonise semi-natural habitats through long-distance dispersal is however uncertain in Belgian eco-climatic conditions.
Distribution in Belgium
Established populations
absent from district
isolated populations (1-5 localities per district)
widespread (>5 localities per district)
Endangered areas
low risk
medium risk
high risk

Endangered Natura 2000 habitats ():
forest habitats: 91209190
Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: low
Competition: high
Disease transmission: low
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: high
Physical alteration: likely
Natural successions: likely
Food web alteration: low
More on impacts: Where planted, red oak recruitment rate is very high and young trees can form a dense understorey excluding ground vegetation and other tree species. Exclusion of ferns and grasses is favoured by the release of allelochemicals by leaves and roots. It is favoured over other tree species by heavy cutting because of its sprouting ability. Red oak is characterised by a species-poor phytophagous and saproxylic community in comparison to native oaks. Litter is hardly degraded and favours soil acidification. The species has also been reported to accelerate colonisation of open habitats near forest edges.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Vanderhoeven Sonia, Van Landuyt Wouter, Van Rossum Fabienne, Verloove Filip
Published on:  04 December 2007
Last update:  12 October 2012
AEF (2006)
Cartes provisoires de la distribution de néophytes en Wallonie.
Unpublished document.
Adamowski, W. (2002)
Invasion of red oak Quercus rubra in Białowieża Forest (NE Poland)
In: Biological Invasions: Challenges for Science. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference of the German Working Group on Biological Invasions, UFZ - Centre for Environmental Research, p. 16.
Adamowski, W. Mędrzycki, P. et Łuczaj, Ł. (1998)
The penetration of alien woody species into plant communities of BiałowieŜa Forest: the role of biological properties and human activities.
Phytocoenosis 10(N.S.) Suppl. Cartogr. Geobot. 9: 211-228.
Chmura, D. (2004)
Penetration and naturalisation of invasive alien plant species (Neophytes) in woodlands of the Silesian upland (Southern Poland).
Nature Conservation 60: 3-11
Chmura, D. (2013)
Impact of alien tree species Quercus rubra L. on understorey environment and flora: a study of the Silesian upland (Southern Poland).
Polish Journal of Ecology 61: 431-442.
Crow, T. R. (1988)
Reproductive Mode and Mechanisms for Self-Replacement of Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) - A Review.
Forest Science 34: 19-40.
Dressel, R. & Jäger, E.J. (2002)
Beiträge zur Biologie der Gefäßpflanzen des herzynischen Raumes. 5. Quercus rubra L. (Roteiche) : Lebensgeschichte und agriophytische Ausbreitung im Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz.
Hercynia N.F. 35: 37–64.
Gossner M. (2004)
Diversität und Struktur arborikoler Arthropodenzönosen fremdländischer und einheimischer Baumarten.
Ph D thesis, Technischen Universität München.
Jones, F.A., Hamrick, J.L., Peterson, C.J. & Squiers, E.R. (2006)
Inferring colonization history from analyses of spatial genetic structure within populations of Pinus strobus and Quercus rubra.
Molecular Ecology 15: 851-861.
Krivanek, M. & Pysek, P. (2006)
Predicting invasions by woody species in a temperate zone: a test of three risk assessment schemes in Czech Republic.
Diversity and Distributions 12: 319-327.
Lambinon, J., Delvosalle, L. & Duvigneaud, J. (2004)
Nouvelle fore de la Belgique, du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des régions voisines.
Editions du Patrimoine du Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise.
Magni Diaz, C.R. (2004)
Reconstitution de l’introduction de Quercus rubra L. en Europe et conséquences génétiques dans les populations allochtones.
PhD thesis, Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts de Paris, 455 pp.
Major, K.C., Nosko, P., Kuehne, C., Campbell, D. & Bauhus, J. (2013)
Regeneration dynamics of non-native northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.)populations as influenced by environmental factors: A case study in managed hardwood forests of southwestern Germany.
Forest Ecology and Management 291: 144–153.
Marozas, V., Straigyte, L. & Sepetiene, J. (2009)
Comparative analysis of alien oak (Quercus rubra L.) and native common oak (Quercus robur L.) vegetation in Lithuania.
Acta Biol. Univ. Daugavp. 9 (1): 19 - 24.
Meiners, S.J. & Martinkovic, M.J. (2002)
Survival of and Herbivore Damage to a Cohort of Quercus rubra Planted Across a Forest-Old-field Edge.
Am. Midi. Nat. 147:247-256.
Möllerová, J. (2005)
Notes on invasive and expansive trees and shrubs.
Journal of Forest Science 51: 19-23.
Ozolinčius, R. (2010)
Climate change and the sustainability forest ecosystems of Lithuania: literature review.
Miškininkystė 2(68): 7-20.
Riepšas, E. & Straigyte, L. (2008)
Invasiveness and ecological effects of red oak (Quercus rubra L.) in Lithuanian forests.
Baltic Forestry 14(2): 122-130.
Starfinger, U. & Kowarik, I. (2007)
Quercus rubra (Fagaceae), Rot-Eiche.
From online Neoflora database, Invasive gebietsfremde Pflanzen in Deutschland (Floraweb).
Straigyte, L. & Zalkauskas, R. (2006)
Red oak (Quercus rubra L.) condition and morphological traits differences in Southern Lithuanian forest.
Acta Biol. Univ. Daugavp. 6 (1-2): 135-140.
Straigyte, L. & Žalkauskas, R. (2012)
Effect of climate variability on Quercus rubra phenotype and spread in Lithuanian forests.
Dendrobiology 67: 79–85.
Straigyte, L., Marozas, V. & Žalkauskas, R (2012)
Morphological Traits of Red Oak (Quercus rubra L.) and ground vegetation in stands in different sites and regions in Lithuania.
Baltic Forestry 18(1): 91-98.
Thomas, S. (2010)
Horizon-scanning for invasive non-native plants in Great Britain.
Natural England Commissioned Report NECR053.
Tirmenstein, D. A. (1991)
Quercus rubra.
In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
Van Landuyt, W., Hoste, I., Vanhecke, L., Van den Bremt, P. Vercruysse, W. & De Beer, D. (2006)
Atlas van de Flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest.
Nationale Plantentuin en het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek i.s.m. Flo.Wer vzw.
Verloove, F. (2006)
Catalogue of the Neophytes in Belgium (1800-2005).
Scripta Botanica Belgica 39, 89 pp.
Woziwoda, B., Kopeć, D. & Witkowski, J. (2013)
The negative impact of intentionally introduced Quercus rubra L. on a forest community.
Acta Soc Bot Pol 83(1):39–49.
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