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Kentucky Color: Southern Red Oaks brighten Fairground ST

Array of oaks affords great spectrum of oak color on Fairground ST, Columbia, KY. Southern Red Oak is often referred to as Turkey Foot Oak because of its leaf shape
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By Billy Joe Fudge, President, Homeplace on Green River, Inc.
6048 New Columbia RD, Campbellsville, KY

The Adair County Fair Grounds infield area is watched over by several massive, Southern Red Oaks where the leaves are green, yellow and brown. The beautiful red leaves of Southern Red Oak can be viewed street side at the corner of Fairgrounds and Lindsey Wilson Street.

The Southern Red Oak is often referred to as the "Turkey Foot Oak" because the shape of the leaf resembles a turkey's footprint. However, it should not be confused with the Turkey Oak which only grows to a height of around 30 feet and lives primarily on the poor quality, dry soils of the Southeastern and Southern Coastal Plain.

The leaves of both species are similar but the base of the Southern Red Oak leaf rounds into the petiole where the Turkey Oak steeply angles into the petiole.

Southern Red Oak is rarely seen north of the Ohio River and in fact it is rarely seen in the Central Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. We here in South Central Kentucky are blessed to live in one of the most diverse hardwood forests on Earth because of our location. Many of the species that grow only in the north grow here and many of the species that grow only in the south grow here, also.

The wood as with most oaks is very durable and is used for flooring, construction, furniture, etc.
For more Kentucky Color articles, enter "Kentucky Color" in the Search box. For more articles by Billy Joe Fudge, enter his name or variant B.J. Fudge.

This story was posted on 2009-11-01 06:17:29
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Kentucky Color: Southern Red Oak

2009-11-01 - 300 block of Fairground ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge. Southern Red Oak not only offers a wide range of fall color, it is also very important to the timber economy in Adair County. The highly durable hardwood is used in flooring, construction, and furniture. The tree is often called the "Turkey Foot Oak," for the shape of its leaf.
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