fbpx CRIMSON SPIRE™ oak | The Morton Arboretum


CRIMSON SPIRE™ oak is a hybrid between English oak and White oak. It was selected for a narrow form (15 feet wide) and good red fall color. It is tolerant of a wide range of conditions.

Botanical name:

Quercus 'Crimschmidt'

All common names:

CRIMSON SPIRE™ oak, hybrid oak

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks,
  • City parkway,
  • Wide median,
  • Restricted sites

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Parkway/street,
  • Patio/sidewalk,
  • Shade tree,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

Mature Height:

>40 feet

Mature Width:

10-20 feet

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil

Acid Soils:

  • Tolerant

Alkaline Soils:

  • Tolerant

Salt Spray:

  • Intolerant

Soil Salt:

  • Intolerant

Drought Conditions:

  • Tolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Planting Considerations:

  • Messy fruit/plant parts

Ornamental Interest:

  • Fall color

Seasons of Interest:

  • mid fall,
  • late fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Inconspicuous

Shape or Form:

  • Columnar

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

Transplants Well:

  • Yes


  • Migrant birds,
  • Small mammals

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

Prune oaks in the dormant season to avoid attracting beetles that may carry oak wilt.  More tolerant of wet sites than its white oak parent, but well drained sites are best.  Intolerant of salt.

Disease, pests, and problems

Oak wilt, anthracnose, two-lined chestnut borer are possible problems.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Resistant to powdery mildew.

Native geographic location and habitat

Of hybrid origin.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is dark brown and furrowed.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, lobed leaves; dark green in summer changing to red in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Flowers are not ornamentally important.  Drooping, male catkins appear in April.  Female flowers are inconspicuous tiny spikes in axils of new leaves.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

1-inch long, elongated nut is enclosed with a warty cap.  The cap covers about 1/4 of the nut.

Acorns ripen in fall and can be considered a litter problem, especially near sidewalks and patios.

Location of Quercus 'Crimschmidt' (CRIMSON SPIRE™ oak) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.