Q. rubra is a large, broad, deciduous tree with deep green leaves in summer and red autumn colour. It has red-brown fruits called acorns. Plant Health Care Recommendations for Red Oak Northern red oak (Quercus rubra) is a stately moderately fast growing, large maturing shade tree that has a pleasing oval shape. Leaves are glossy dark green during the summer. Fall color is highly variable, ranging from bright red to yellow brown. Red oak grows in a wide range of geographic areas ranging from Canada’s zone 4 in the north to Georgia’s zone 8 in the south. To the west it is limited mainly by water availability, rarely growing west of Missouri.