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Quercus bicolor

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, loam, clay, sand

Height: 45'-60'

Bloom Time: March, April

Bloom Color: yellow, red, green

Leaf Color: green, gray-green, multi-color

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: attracts birds, fall interest, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, salt tolerant, shade tree, stream margin plant, swamp plant, wetland plant

Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
  • Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
  • Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
  • Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
  • Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Quercus bicolor

Also known as:

swamp white oak

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Quercus bicolor is a medium-sized oak that commonly grows to 45', rarely to 60' or more. The top sides of its ornamental leaves are dark-green and glossy, while the undersides are gray-green and ashen, hence the genus modifier "bicolor" (meaning two-toned). It has an irregular-shaped crown. The spread of its lateral branches make it a good choice for a shade tree. Male flowers are up to 4" long, greenish catkins, female flowers are reddish single spikes that appear with the leaves. Both are found on the same tree. The leaves are gently lobed, and turn attractive shades of yellow, red and purple in fall.

Cultivation

As the common name, swamp white oak indicates, this tree is found growing along swamps, wetlands, in low lying wet ares and flood plains. It will withstand seasonal inundation and brackish water. However, it is remarkably drought tolerant and often used in parks, open lawns and other urban landscapes. Is adapted to most acidic soils, from deep, rich and well-drained, to average and poorly drained. Blooms March to April. Zones 4-7.

Propagation

Propagate from fresh seeds.

Additional Notes

The lumber is used commercially. The lower limbs of the tree tend to be persistent, thereby creating knots in the wood and making it less valuable than other white oaks. Ripe acorns are edible but require double boiling to remove the tannins. They can also be roasted, dried, and ground into flour. Acorns are an important food source fro birds and mammals.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, CT, DC, DE, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Threatened: ME

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 bicolor swamp white oak