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Quercus alba Quercus alba

Common Name(s):

  • White Oak
Description

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.

 

Seasons of Interest: 

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

 

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

Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#birds#shade tree#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#moths#tsc#host plant#dry soil#flowering tree#street tree#black walnut#clay#rocky soil#small mammals#cpp#low flammability#black bears#deer resistant#woodpeckers#blue jays#acorns#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#birds#shade tree#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#moths#tsc#host plant#dry soil#flowering tree#street tree#black walnut#clay#rocky soil#small mammals#cpp#low flammability#black bears#deer resistant#woodpeckers#blue jays#acorns#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    alba
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern United States
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    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.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire, moderately resistant to damage by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 50 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Pyramidal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    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.
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    The White Oak has insignificant yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins that appear in spring shortly after the leaves emerge.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    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.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Bark Description:
    As the tree ages, the bark becomes somewhat shaggy along the middle and upper stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Stomach pain, constipation and later bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Seeds