white oak Fagaceae Quercus
alba L. symbol: QUAL
|Leaf: Alternate, simple, oblong to ovate in shape, 4 to 7 inches long; 7 to 10 rounded, finger-like lobes, sinus depth varies from deep to shallow, apex is rounded and the base is wedge-shaped, green to blue-green above and whitish below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; male flowers are yellow-green, borne in naked, slender catkins, 2 to 4 inches long; female flowers are reddish green and appear as very small single spikes; appearing with the leaves in mid-spring.
Fruit: Ovoid to oblong acorn, cap is warty and bowl-shaped, covers 1/4 of the fruit; cap always detaches at maturity; matures in one growing season in the early fall.
Twig: Red-brown to somewhat gray, even a bit purple at times, hairless and often shiny; multiple terminal buds are red-brown, small, rounded (globose) and hairless.
Bark: Whitish or ashy gray, varying from scaly on smaller stems to irregularly platy or blocky on large stems. On older trees smooth patches are not uncommon.
Form: A very large tree; when open grown, white oaks have rugged, irregular crowns that are wide spreading, with a stocky bole. In the forest crowns are upright and oval with trees reaching up to 100 feet tall and several feet in diameter.
Looks like: overcup oak
- bur oak
- post oak
- sand post oak
| Additional Range Information:
Quercus alba is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting white oak.
Fall Color Wood
| External Links:
Silvics of North America
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2015, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson