White Oak

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. . Some have survived for 800 years.

The white oak tree grows to a massive size -- up to 150 feet with an 80-foot spread. It can also reach a great age: 800-year-old trees have been known to exist. The white oak has a pyramidal form when young but becomes broadly rounded when it matures. The leaves, narrow at the base, have five to nine rounded lobes. They are dark green in summer and turn red before falling.

How to grow: The white oak is slow growing and must be planted as a small tree. Its deep taproot makes transplantation difficult. The white oak prefers full sun and deep, moist, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Its leaves tend to acidify the soil over time.


Uses: The white oak makes a splendid specimen tree for parks and spacious properties.

Related species: A good substitute for the white oak in moist soils, the swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) has leaves that are broad and undulated on the edges rather than lobed.

Scientific name: Quercus alba


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