How fast do oak trees grow


Oak wood

Here is the information you need to know how fast do oak trees grow.

Oak trees are hardwood, which means they are slow-growing trees compared to softwoods like pinewood which take 25 years on average to become a mature tree.

Read more: 10 different types of oak wood for furniture

Despite the slow growth. There are species in an oak wood that have a faster growth rate. For example, the live oak wood grows 2-3 feet per year, in 10 years the trees get a height of 30 feet. Read more: How good is oakwood for furniture.

Besides oak making good furniture, there are some advantages and disadvantages you should know. In case you’re going to build furniture of it.

How fast do oak trees grow?

The growth rate of oak trees is not similar at all. Some have fast growth rates and others are not. It all comes down to their species. That is said, the denser wood, the more time it will take in growing to mature.

As there are various species of oak, each has set its own growth rate. Some are fast-growing like a live oak- grows 3-4 feet per year, and has less dense wood. Whereas the white oak species grow 1-2 feet per year, consider slow-growing oak species. Furthermore, there are significant environmental factors, such as areas with high sunlight intensities which produce more oak trees than areas with low sunlight intensities.

Oak trees growth rate

Oak species Growth in 10 yearsGrowth in 30 years
Northern red oak12 feet30 feet
White oak10 feet15-18 feet.
Live oak15 feet40 feet
Shumard Oaktree15 feet35 feet
Willow oak18 feet35 feet
Water oak22 feet45 feet.
Pin Oak12 feet25 feet.
Nuttall oak15 feet25 feet
English oak trees18 feet23 feet

The growth rate of different oak tree species.

Northern red oak

Northern red oak trees will grow 15–20 feet in a decade. 2 feet per year, under optimal weather conditions. The tree grows straight and tall in forests, sometimes reaching as high as 140 feet. It has a trunk that can be as large as 20 to 40 inches across.

White oak

There are thousands of white oak trees in North America, and the white oak tree (Quercus alba) is among the tallest deciduous trees.  

According to Clemson University Extension, white oaks produce new growth at a rate of 10 to 15 feet over a period of 10 to 12 years. 

Despite their slow growth rate, white oaks can live for more than a hundred years.

Live oak

The initial growth of live oak is very rapid, as it may reach heights of 4 feet in its first year. However, the pace of growth will decline afterward, but it will remain rapid for the next 10 to 15 years.  

This usually means that live oak, on average, can gain 24 inches or more in a single growing season, assuming growing conditions are optimal. A lack of water, sunlight, and other environmental conditions can have their effect.

The height of live oaks ranges between 40 and 80 feet, and their widths can reach 60 to 100 feet. The mature shape and size of a live oak can be achieved in 75 years or less if it is well-sited.

Shumard Oaktree

As a mature plant, the Shumard Oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Its average height and width are 40 to 60 feet tall. The average growth of this species is 2 feet per year for about 15 years. Later the growth rate turns down.

Willow oak

A Willow Oak looks different from other oaks because of its rapid growth rate. Leaves on Willow Oak trees resemble those on willows (salix). 

These trees provide great shade for ecosystems. Willow oaks are long-lived, provide food for wildlife and provide shelter. 

The Willow oak grows to a height of 60 feet and a width of 40 feet. You can plant this tree in your yard if you have the space. Oak trees have beautiful golden and orange autumn foliage.

Water oak

Water oak is one of the fast-growing oak wood species. Approximately 25 feet of growth occurs per 10 years in water oak trees (Q. nigra), according to some studies done by a well-known university. 

Water oaks reach up to 60 feet maximum in height and spread ranges from 25 to 40 inches in a life span of 70-100 years.

Pin Oak

Throughout its life, pin oaks (Q. palustris) grow 18 inches each year for the next 10 years they can reach a height of 10-15 feet. The species although has a slower growth rate but it can sometimes show rapid growth. Mainly in the forest.

The average lifespan of the trees is 60 to 70 years, and the maximum height the tree can reach is 70 years.

Nuttall oak

Nuttall oak, also known as red oak or pin oak, is one of the moderate-growing oak trees. It has one of the slowest growth rates, about 1.5 feet per year.

if the conditions are optimal, in the first 20 years the Nuttall oak can grow 10 feet to 15 maximum.

Additionally, providing a leafy canopy, it also provides a large number of acorns each year for animals such as deer and squirrels.

English oak trees

According to some studies, English oaks and bur oaks have moderate growth rates and display yellow-brown foliage in the fall. About 15 feet for the first initial 30 years.

Southern live oak

IFAS extension reports that the Southern live oak (Q. virginiana) grows at a moderate rate, reaching up to 60 feet maximum in height, which can take 70 years to fully mature. However, the first growth of the first 30 feet is rapid and takes 20 to 30 years to reach. 

How long does it take for an oak tree to grow to full size?

There is no certain period for all oak species. As each has set its own size limit that they reach in their life span. Also, the environment also affects the size of a tree.

Some take 60 years to mature a tree, for example, water and live oak. Whereas the denser ones like white oak take twice more time period to turn into a full-grown tree.

Which oak tree grows the fastest?

Nuttall oak and Live oak wood are considered to be one of the fastest-growing oak wood species. Although they don’t reach t

Also known as pin oak or red oak, the Nuttall oak is a moderate-growing oak tree. It can reach a height of 15 feet in 10 years. 

In addition to providing a leafy canopy, it can give animals such as deer and squirrels a large supply of acorns each year.

Do oak trees stop growing?

There are some species of Oakwoods that do not stop growing. For example, the white and red oak wood can grow for 100 years until its roots die.

Nonetheless, their heights are more or less fixed at some point, meaning when a tree reaches its maximum height the growth also gets stopped. But the trunk of a tree tends to grow wider as it ages- putting out new branches and producing leaves throughout its life

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