Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: dry, moist
Soil Description: neutral, rich, average, loam, clay, sand
Bloom Time: April, May
Bloom Color: yellow, red, green, brown
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts birds, attracts butterflies, edible, fall interest, shade tree, showy fruit
Pricing & Availability
Quercus albaAlso known as:
northern white oak,
ridge white oak,
forked-leaf white oak
Quercus alba owes its common name and genus modifier "alba" (meaning white) to the distinctly pale gray, ashen color of its bark. It is a slow growing, long lived stately oak, that can grow to a height of 80' in cultivation, 100' or more in the wild. Young trees have an irregular, open form, becoming rounder and symmetrical as they mature. It has wide spreading branches, making it a popular shade tree often used in urban landscapes. Male flowers are 4" long, greenish catkins, female flowers are reddish single spikes that appear with the leaves. Both are found on the same tree. The dark-green leaves are deeply lobed, and unlike many oaks, can develop brilliant reddish fall colors before turning brown. The oval acorns are showy, and can become quite large: up to 1 1/4 inch.
White oak can be found in may types of soil. It prefers slightly acidic, deep, rich, moist and well-drained soils, but does well in average soil and even heavy clay. It is deep-rooted, moderately drought resistant and will tolerate some salt, making it a good choice as a street tree. All in all, this is a problem free and easy oak to grow. Make sure it has plenty of room to grow. Blooms in April and May. Zones 4-8
Propagate from fresh seeds. Saplings should be place in their final location as soon as possible because they are quick to develop a taproot, making them difficult to transplant.
Also know as stave oak, because its wood has been highly valued for barrel making. It produces high quality, durable lumber that is used for flooring and interior woodwork. Ripe acorns are edible but require double boiling to remove the tannins. They are an important food source fro birds and mammals.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
|Species||Quercus alba||white oak|