Tree Species Highlight

Crimson Spire oak (Quercus robur x Quercus alba 'Crimschmidt')

When looking for a new tree to add to the landscape, it can at times be a challenge to find a species that checks off all the boxes, such as adaptability to local conditions, the desired benefits (i.e. shade or screening), appropriate mature size, and aesthetic features. This season’s tree species highlight can meet these needs with more versatility than many other shade trees. Whether you are looking for a tall, stately tree, a species great for screening unsightly views, or one that can frame an area without taking up too much space, this could be the tree for you. Furthermore, it can be planted in a narrow planting area next to a house or where the growing space is limited near overhead utility lines due to its narrow form. Allow me to introduce you to the spectacular, multi-functional tree known as the Crimson Spire oak.


The beautiful combination of English oak’s columnar shape and white oak’s dark green foliage that fades to a deep red in the fall creates this gorgeous specimen called Crimson Spire Oak. Quercus robur x Quercus alba ‘Crimschmidt’ grows at a moderate to fast rate, reaching heights of 45 feet with a spread that is only 12 to 15 feet wide. This tree has dark green leaves that are mildew resistant and slightly smaller than that of the English Oak. Once we reach the cooler weather that fall brings, the leaves begin to fade to, as the name suggests, a crimson color. After the color has faded from the leaves, the tree will generally hang on to them until spring when new leaves emerge, further making Crimson Spire oak such a great screening tree all year round. The Crimson Spire oak is not only disease resistant, but also both drought and cold hardy, making it a great fit for the weather we see here in Edmond.

With so many benefits and uses, it is understandable that you might want to check out a Crimson Spire oak in person. If you take a stroll through the southeast portion of the Margaret Annis Boys Centennial Arboretum in Bickham-Rudkin Park, you will find them growing on either side of the trail, just before it leads across Smiling Hill Blvd to the Oklahoma Christian University campus trail. The specimens in the arboretum are planted alongside many other utility compatible species that are also planted along the south edge. Cultivars similar to Crimson Spire oak include Regal Prince and Castle Green oaks.

View more topics from the Summer 2021 issue of Edmond Tree Mail