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Quercus alba

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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

Height: 50'-80'

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

Quercus alba (white oak)
  • Quercus alba (white oak)
  • Quercus alba (white oak)
  • Quercus alba (white oak)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Quercus alba

Also known as:

white oak

,

northern white oak

,

stave oak

,

ridge white oak

,

forked-leaf white oak

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

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.

Cultivation

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

Propagation

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.

Additional Notes

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

Native Range:
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

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Hamamelididae
Order Fagales
Family Fagaceae Beech family
Genus Quercus oak
Species Quercus alba white oak