Sidmouth Tree of the Week: Quercus rubra

A magnificent Red Oak stands alone at Roxburgh car park

JUST one tree stands, all alone, in Roxburgh car park – its wide spreading, almost horizontal, branches, offer shade to several cars.

Around it lies tarmacadum and walls – garden walls, house walls and car park walls.

“The Red Oak (Quercus rubra) originates from north eastern United States, and prefers slightly acid soil and moist conditions – exactly those it finds in the shelter of down town Sidmouth, writes Diana East of Sid Vale Association.

“It’s a long lived tree, with interesting bark which develops ridges as it grows older. It takes its common name from the leaf colour which will start to turn red after the recent cold weather.”

The civic arboretum wants to see more woody plants, which means trees and shrubs, in our public places. Why is the Roxburgh oak on its own?

Sidmouth Herald readers have responded enthusiastically to our TREE OF THE WEEK initiative and Richard Eley, who is leading the civic arboretum project, is “well pleased” with the response.

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The tree database is growing and if you know of an interesting tree, small or large, please contact Diana on (05603) 278 602 or email