Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

Terminology | Pictorial

Quercus alba
White Oak
Fabaceae (Oak Family)

An eastern oak, with widespreading branches and a rounded crown; the trunk is irregular divided into spreading, often horizontal, stout branches, growing to a height of 24 - 30 m and a diameter of 0.9 - 1.2 m; often larger.


White Oak Distinguishing Features - Leaves: 10 - 23 cm long; elliptical; 5 to 9-lobed; widest beyond middle and tapering to base; hairless. Bright green above, whitish or grayish-green beneath; turning red or brown in fall, often remaining attached in winter. Bark: light gray; shallowly fissured into long broad scaly plates or ridges, often loose. Acorns: 1 - 3 cm long; egg-shaped; about 1/4 enclosed by shallow cup; becoming light gray; with warty, finely hairy scales; maturing first year.


An eastern North American species; from southeastern Ontario and extreme southern Quebec, east to Maine; south along the Eastern Seaboard to northern Florida, west to eastern Texas, and north to central Minnesota; prefers moist, well-drained uplands and lowlands, often in pure stands.


The White Oak is an important lumber tree; its high-grade wood is useful for all purposes. It was, and still is, outstanding in making tight barrels for whiskey, wine and other liquids.

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