Ruling as a steadfast shade tree with gorgeously warm fall colors that won’t disappoint, the White Oak is hailed as one of the most outstanding and well-known hardwoods of central and eastern North America…
What distinguishes the lovely White Oak?
Greater resilience and tolerance to changing conditions and diseases than most other oak varieties
Potential to grow both in terms of impressive heights and incredible age.
Has earned much well-deserved praise as a handsome, fruitful, and durable species.
Commercially valuable timber that is cherished for its water- and rot-resistant properties, its density, and its strength.
Valuable wildlife resource.
Keeping up appearances…
A mature White Oak’s pyramidal crown towers up at 50-80 ft., with its outstretched branches helping it reach a total respective span of 50-80 ft. This Fagaceae family member is scientifically classified as Quercus Alba, a name that salutes the paleness of the tree’s ash-gray bark. The White Oak is further identified by its dense deciduous foliage, the leaves emerging a delicate and downy silver-pink that quickly changes to yellow-green before deepening to dark green. These leaves are glossy, shallowly lobed, and long, with their hues shifting to fall colors of rich brown and scarlet. The White Oak’s May flowers range in color from rose to lavender, and are quickly replaced by the tree’s annual acorns, which are deeply capped, gleaming brown, and require only a year to mature.
A friendly recommendation.
The White Oak’s slow-paced growth rate is balanced by its extreme longevity, as this species is known to survive for over 300 years. Given a 3-8 hardiness zone rating, the White Oak is widespread from Nova Scotia to Florida, and found as far west as Texas. Growing as easily in dry uplands as in lowland valleys and ravines, this deciduous species is cultivated best in full sunlight and within medium to dry, well-drained soils. It reaches its full strength and height when grown in a forest, dominating the smaller trees around it.
Awesome tree trivia!
- In the words of naturalist Donald Peattie: “If oak is the king of trees, as tradition has it, then the white oak, throughout its range, is the "king of kings.”
- Maryland’s famous Wye Oak was actually estimated to be roughly 450 years old before it toppled during a thunderstorm in 2002.
- This shade tree’s timber has been used in construction, agricultural implements, barrel-making (especially for barrels containing wine, as the wood is noted to impart or preserve the wine’s strong flavors), shipbuilding, and for even crafting the weaponry of Japanese martial arts.
Photos T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Photos Copyright © Horticopia, Inc. 2017
This Tree's Zone: 3 to 9
Your Growing Zone:
|Fall Foliage||Brown to dark red|
|Shape||Pyramidal to spreading|
|Size||50 to 80 feet|
|Spread||50 to 80 feet|