The largest number of oak species in the world is in North America — 90 species live in the United States alone.
Two species of oak trees thrive in Cincinnati. These are the Red Oak and the Pin Oak. While other species can be found in the area, these two are predominant, and grow very well. The Red Oak and the Pin Oak are two of the few Oaks that are great for providing shade. These oak trees can reach 60 feet tall and can be nearly 60 feet wide.
The larger size oak trees require an astonishing 50 gallons of water per day, and often have a root structure that goes 25 feet into the ground. They also have feeder roots near the surface, which absorb water. The stems can store water for the dry periods.
Oak trees are susceptible to fungal diseases that can, if left untreated, begin to rot the inner part of the tree. Over time, this condition can cause the tree to weaken, to the point that a strong wind could take it down. Insects will often cause defoliation when they attack an oak tree.
Oak trees begin to produce acorns at somewhere between 20 to 50 years of age. The acorn production can be robust, with some oaks producing as many as 2,000 acorns in a single year. Interestingly, only one acorn in 10,000 will develop into a tree. Acorns can be problematic for homeowners who do not want the mess — or who may not want the animals that come to eat the acorns.
Many oak trees, including the Red Oak, make a dazzling display of color in the autumn.
As with any large tree, maintenance is important. This includes an annual inspection to detect fungi or pests that are inflicting damage. It is also important to trim and prune an oak tree. Inner branches that crowd the center of the tree should be thinned, so as to let light reach the other inner branches that help to shape the tree.