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White Oak

Quercus alba

Other common name(s):

Northern White Oak, Eastern White Oak, Stave Oak, Ridge White Oak, Forked-leaf White Oak

Family:

Fagaceae (Beech Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces, Red River Bottomlands, Southern Tertiary Uplands, Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Tree

Height

80
to
100
ft.

Spread

60
to
80
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Acid, Poor Drainage

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Medium

Native Habitat

Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Red, Yellow, Green, Brown

Bloom Season

Spring

Seasonal Interest

Fall Color, Nuts, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds

Maintenance

In spite of a long list of troublesome pests, white oak is durable and long-lived. Do not plant in shade, areas of poor drainage, or alkaline soil. Old trees are sensitive to construction disturbance in their root zone and to planting turf around a tree on what had been a forest duff ground cover. If necessary, prune for shape. 44″ water minimum. Propagation: Seed.

Comments

Valuable, slow growing, long lived 100+ years. Emerging spring leaves are pink. Large, attractive lobed leaves turn dark red in fall without frost. Acorns provide food to several mammals and birds. Attracts butterflies and birds. Larval Host: Edwards hairstreak butterfly.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Quercus alba var. subcaerulea, Quercus alba var. subflavea

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 3) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 339. 4) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=QUAL. 5) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Quercus+alba&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 6) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=12042&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 7) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=19290#null