Please submit a search term.

Quercus alba

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
White oak
Categories:
Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Trees
Comment:

The Quercus alba, commonly called the White oak, grows to 50-80' tall in cultivation and taller (to 100') in the wild. It is pyramidal when young, but matures into a substantial tree with a thick trunk and wide-spreading, rounded crown. It is a difficult tree to transplant.  As the tree ages, the bark becomes somewhat shaggy along the middle and upper stem.

The White oak grows over much of eastern North America and is an important hardwood timber tree.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves:   Fall      Bloom:   Early Spring     Fruit/Seed/Nut:  Fall

Wildlife Value:  This tree is moderately resistant to damage by deer.  It is a host plant for the Banded Hairstreak, Edward's Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, White-M Hairstreak, Horace's Duskywing, Juvenal's Duskywing, butterflies and many moths.  The Acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue joys, small mammals, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and black bear.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Potential diseases include oak wilt, anthracnose, and oak leaf blister. Potential insects include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner and lace bug.

Height:
60-100 ft.
Flower:
The White Oak has insignificant yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins that appear in spring shortly after the leaves emerge. The fruits are rich brown oblong acorns (to 3/4" long) with a warty-scaled cap that covers about 1/4 of the nut and detaches at maturity in late fall. The acorn requires only one growing season to reach maturity.
Zones:
3-8
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
The White Oak is best grown in rich, moist, acidic, well-drained loams in full sun. Has a tolerance for drought, dry, rocky soil, and being planted near black walnuts. It will adapt to a wide variety of soil conditions.
Texture:
Medium to coarse
Form:
Pyramidal in youth; broad crown with age; massive, spreading tree with thick trunk
Exposure:
Full sun
Fruit:
Nut, acorn
Family:
Fagaceae
Origin:
Eastern US
Poison Part:
Acorns (seeds of nuts) and young leaves.
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion.
Symptoms:
Stomach pain, constipation and later bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination
Edibility:
EDIBLE PARTS: Acorns (nuts) are edible after tannins are leached or boiled out. HARVEST TIME: Only collect nutsfrom areas you know.
Toxic Principle:
Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
Severity:
CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN.
Found in:
Forest or natural areas; landscape as ornamental and shade trees.
Width:
50-90 ft.
Growth Rate:
Moderate
Leaf:
The leaves (4-9" long) are alternate, simple and have 7 to 9 deep rounded lobes. They emerge pinkish in the spring but mature to dark green. The White Oak has variable fall color ranging from uninteresting browns to quality shades of dark red.
Tags:
clay, tsc, deciduous, street tree, drought tolerant, rocky soil, birds, dry soil, deer resistant, black walnut, shade tree, butterflies, wildlife

NCCES plant id: 2154

Quercus alba Form
Tim Evanson, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Quercus alba Trunk
Kerry Woods, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Quercus alba Leaves
Wendy Cutler, CC BY - 2.0
Quercus alba Leaves
Bruce Kirchoff, CC BY - 2.0
Quercus alba Fall leaf color and acorn.
NatureServe, CC BY-NC-2.0
Quercus alba Quercus alba can grow to be a massive tree.
Nicholas A. Tonelli, CC BY - 2.0