How Long Does It Take an Oak Tree To Grow?

Majestic mature oak tree with expansive canopy, exemplifying the growth achieved over decades.

Are you interested to know how long it takes an oak tree to grow?

Depending on the species, Oak trees have different maturity levels and periods. Some will reach 100 feet tall, while others will only reach 80 feet. Some measure 80 feet wide, while others measure 60 feet wide. Again, this predominantly depends on the species. However, before looking at the time it takes for an Oak tree to mature fully, we need to understand what an ordinary Oak tree means.

An Oak tree is another hardwood species that is exceedingly strong and durable. The hardwood properties of the Oak tree make it an ultimate choice when it comes to furniture making, flooring, and veneer production.

Oak trees vary according to the location/continent they are found. Africa’s oak trees are slightly different from the United States Oak trees. However, you must understand that more than half of the 600 species available are native to North America. The rate, level, and time of maturity depend upon many significant factors. Tree species, climate, water, and soil nutrients are critical in determining the time it takes for a tree to mature fully.

In this article, we will look at the insights into understanding the average time it takes for an Oak tree to mature fully.

So, let us answer an important question that many homeowners ask.

What Is the Average Time It Takes an Oak Tree To Grow?

The average time for an Oak tree to fully grow, regardless of the species, is approximately 30-35 years. By the 30th year, an ordinary Oak tree will assume a taller stature and a thicker diameter. This, however, depends on the above four factors that we had earlier mentioned: species, climate, water, and soil nutrients.

Full maturity, however, can be reached after years of continued slow growth.

A mature oak tree will spread its canopy to about 45-50 feet.

1. The Rate of Growth Depends on the Soil Conditions

Favorable Vs. Unfavorable Soil Conditions

Favorable soil conditions should include good soil tilth, adequate but not extreme nutrient supply, minimum plant pathogens, insect pests, ample soil drainage, and no chemical composition.

Unfavorable soil conditions that can alter the growth rate of Oak trees include poorly graded, dry, and cohesion-less soils.

2. Rate of Growth Depending on the Species

According to scientific research, there are approximately 600 species of Oak trees. All these species vary significantly. This variation alters the rate at which the particular tree reaches full maturity.

Below are common Oak tree species and their maturity periods.

  • Red Oak trees
  • White Oak trees

The Red Oak trees include black Oak, Willow Oak, Water Oak, Japanese evergreen Oak, and Pin Oak.

The White Oak trees include Post Oak, Chinkapin, and Bur Oak.

What Are the Significant Differences Between a Red Oak Hardwood and White Oak Hardwood?

  1. Color – red Oak assumes a pinkish tint than White Oak. White oak hardwood tends to be lighter, browner, and more yellow.
  2. Graining – A red oak hardwood has a stronger graining than a white oak hardwood. However, White oak hardwood assumes a smoother appearance.
  3. Hardness – White oak flooring is a bit harder than red Oak.

According to the Janka hardness scale, a White oak hardwood measures approximately 1350 degrees, while a red oak measures around 1250 degrees. You should note that red oak hardwoods are less hard and show dents slightly less. The White Oak tends to grow slowly. This tree species will only stand between 10-15 feet tall and 20-25 feet wide after 10 or 12 years.

A mature White Oak reaches a height of 50-100 feet and is 50-80 feet wide.

The full maturity happens after 30-40 years because it takes the tree a growth rate of 1-2 feet per year.

Growth Period

The Red Oak tends to grow a bit faster than the White Oak. Most Red Oak species will stand between 13-20 feet tall and 25-30 feet wide after 9 to 11 years. A mature red Oak reaches a height of 60-80 feet and is 60-70 feet wide. The full maturity happens after 30 years because it takes the tree a growth rate of 2 feet per year.

Sturdy oak tree with a dense, lush canopy, a testament to years of growth and strength.

How To Tell the Age and Growth Period of an Oak Tree Without Cutting It

There are five simple ways to say the age of an Oak tree.

  • First, identify the exact species of Oak (red or white) in your yard.
  • Carefully measure the Oak’s trunk circumference.
  • Calculate the diameter of the Oak using the formula Where C is the circumference and π= 3.14.
  • Determine the growth factor for your oak tree. The White and Red Oak’s growth factor is 5,
  • Finally, you should multiply the Oak’s diameter (in inches) by the growth factor to get the approximate age of your oak tree.

An Oak Tree’s Life Cycle With Its Age

An Oak tree can live up to 1000 years if it does not face destruction or hazardous threats. As the tree grows older and older, it tends to produce more acorns. However, at 700 years of age, the tree is considered old and will produce fewer to no acorns. When the Oak tree inches closer to a thousand years, it will die slowly. During this period, some branches will dry, and the tree bark will become weak and fall out easily.

What Are the Fastest Growing Oak Trees?

Some oak trees grow faster than others. And compared to other species of trees, they are considerably slow-growers.

If you want the fastest-growing oak tree, then you might consider some of these varieties:

  • Japanese Evergreen Oak – grows up to 36 inches annually and lives up to 2,000 years with full height at 30 feet.
  • Southern Live Oak – grows between 24 and 36 inches annually and lives up to a thousand years with full height at 50 feet.
  • Valley Oak – grows between 24 and 36 inches annually and lives up to 300 years with full height at 130 feet.
  • Nuttall Oak – grows between 24 and 36 inches annually and lives up to 100 years with a full height between 40 and 60 feet.
  • Southern Red Oak – grows between 12 and 36 inches annually and lives up to 150 years with a full height between 60 and 80 feet.

Should You Plant an Oak Tree in Your Backyard?

Aside from being environmentally friendly, since they stabilize the soil with their roots and attract wildlife, you must consider the space they need should they grow to their full height. Because even though it takes a long time for an oak tree to grow, looking forward pays a lot.

And because they live more than hundreds of years, you should plant them away from underground structures, overhanging structures, or areas that are prospects for urbanization.

Conclusion

We cannot say we know when an Oak tree can be fully grown. This will primarily depend on the factors that have been mentioned above. It is only an approximation of the Oak’s age that can be easily achieved.

Quick Facts About Oak Trees:

  • Oak trees do best in sunny locations.
  • Oak trees do best in slightly acidic soils.
  • Most oak trees will not produce a good crop until they are around 50 years of age.
  • Over its entire lifespan (more than 500 years), an ordinary oak tree can have as many as 9.5 million acorns.

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