white oak
Quercus alba L.
  • LEAVES: deciduous, alternate, simple; variable but usually around 6” long by 4” wide, blades widest above the middle, with usually 7 to 9 lobes which are blunt or rounded apically and lack bristle tips; upper blade surfaces bright green, lower surfaces often gray or whitish
  • FLOWER: unisexual, plants monoecious; male flowers in catkins, female flowers inconspicuous, solitary or in few flowered spikes
  • FRUIT: shiny tan to brown acorn, 0.6-1.2” inch long, shape oblong, ovoid, or obovoid, cupule bowl-shaped, embracing 1/4(-1/3) of the acorn, scale tips not appressed, giving a rough texture
  • TWIGS: purplish gray to greenish red, young shoots with pinkish stellate pubescence, quickly sloughing; winter buds reddish brown, ovoid-conic to globose, usually vaguely obtusely longitudinally angular, scale margins ciliate, faces of scales sometimes short-pubescent distally
  • BARK: light ashy gray, bark of medium-sized trees broken into vertically aligned plates; that of larger trees irregularly plated or divided into broad flat scaly ridges
  • FORM: medium to large tree, 80-100’ tall and 3-4’ dbh; long-lived
  • HABITAT: mesic to somewhat dry forests, including mixed loblolly pine-hardwood, hardwood slope, mesic hardwood flatwoods, etc.
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Upland (FACU): Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: eastern US, barely extending into Ontario and Quebec [USGS Range Map]
  • USES: wood valuable, used for furniture, flooring, important for cooperage; ornamental
  • WILDLIFE: important hard mast tree for various mammals and birds
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. mesic-sited tree with light gray, loose, platy to shaggy bark
    2. leaf lobes apically blunt-rounded, lacking bristle tips
    3. leaf undersurface commonly glaucous