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Quercus alba

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
KWER-kus AL-ba
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

White Oak is a deciduous tree that is native to Eastern North America. It prefers coarse, deep, moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil with medium fertility but is adaptable to other soil types except for wet ones. In cultivation, it grows to 80 feet tall and wide. White Oak has a deep taproot which makes it difficult to transplant but fairly drought tolerant once established. This tree is a long-lived and attractive oak.

It is slow-growing but makes a great large shade tree when mature with it's rounded spreading crown. Use as a shade tree for large yards or parks or in a naturalized area for wildlife to enjoy. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  numerous insect and disease pests, but the damage is rarely significant

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#birds#shade tree#songbirds#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#tsc#host plant#street tree#playground#black walnut#host#clay#rocky soil#small mammals#food source#cpp#low flammability#NC native#black bears#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#woodpeckers#blue jays#acorns#children's garden#fire resistant#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#food source fall
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#birds#shade tree#songbirds#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#tsc#host plant#street tree#playground#black walnut#host#clay#rocky soil#small mammals#food source#cpp#low flammability#NC native#black bears#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#woodpeckers#blue jays#acorns#children's garden#fire resistant#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#food source fall
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    alba
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Hardwood timber for flooring, woodwork and barrels
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South East Canada to Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    Found along the entire eastern United States and west into Texas
    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:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Wildlife Nesting
    Edibility:
    Acorns (nuts) are edible after tannins are leached or boiled out
    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
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    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
    Gray/Silver
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/2-1 inch long acorns are elongated and have a shallow cap that covers 1/4 of the nut. The cap is light tan or gray with warty scales. Acorns mature the first year and can be numerous.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Male flowers are produced as greenish-yellow catkins about 2-3½" long. Female flowers are smaller and greenish-red.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    White
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    4-9 inch long by 2-4 inch wide leaves have 5-9 deep, rounded and even lobes per leaf. They have a rounded tip and a wedge-shaped base. Color is bright green with whitish undersides. The fall color is purplish-brown to reddish-brown and develops late. A few leaves may persist into winter.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Peeling
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    Light grey, shallowly furrowed and divided into flat narrow plates. Can become flakey with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Branch bark is light gray and smooth. Twigs are yellowish-brown to purplish brown and smooth with scattered white lenticels
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Fire
    Salt
    Problems:
    Messy
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    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