white oak
Quercus alba

White oak is a deciduous species of wide distribution across the eastern U.S. It is reknowned for its quality wood, acorn production for wildlife, and picturesque stature in old age.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      White oak is used for lumber for beams, railroad ties, bridge planking, mine timbers, flooring, furniture, veneer, barrel staves, etc.


Wildlife Value
      Over 180 wildlife species have been reported to use white oak acorns for food. Twigs and foliage are browsed by deer.
          Attracts: squirrels, mice, chipmunks, raccoons, bluejays, crows, woodpeckers, turkeys, quail, ducks, deer

Regeneration methods
      White oak's intermediate shade tolerance allows for regeneration by shelterwood or group selection methods. Clearcutting is feasible if white oak saplings are numerous in the understory. White oak stump sprouts, and this may compliment regeneration. Reduction of competition will help counter white oak's slow growth.

Fun facts
White oak can grow to a very large size and live 3 to 5 centuries. It is a useful tree, producing edible acorns (soak them first to wash out tannins), preferred by turkey and deer. The wood is used for "tight cooperage" and was used for whiskey barrels. It is also used for flooring, furniture and interior finishing. It is considered by some to be the best wood of all the white oak species.
Quercus: Latin name / alba: white
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu