The Red Oak

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Throughout time and across cultures, the oak has symbolized strength. In the Odyssey, Odysseus (Ulysses) twice consulted the "divine foliage" of Zeus's majestic oak. The Celts prized the oak as a symbol of hospitality. The tree also personifies pride and wisdom.

Oaks are beautiful, their wood valuable, and their fruit a source of food for animals. Representatives of the large genus of oak (Quercus) can be found in temperate forests throughout the world, including Europe, Asia, and America. Quebec has about ten different species, of which the three most important are the white oak, bur oak, and red oak.

Squirrels, jays, bears, and white-tailed deer all feed on acorns, the fruit of the oak. In areas where the bur oak abounds, such as the mountains of Pennsylvania, its acorns can make up as much as 80% of the diet of deer.


Leaf

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Leaves, alternate, simple, with deep, pointed notches.

Fruit

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Fruits, acorns with cup enclosing one quarter of nut.