White Oak

white oak1

White Oak

Quercus alba

Family: Fagaceae

Leaf Type: Deciduous

Mature Height: 24-30 m (80-100 ft)

Fall Color: Brown, orange-red

Native Range: White oaks are found throughout the majority of the eastern half of the United States.



White oaks can grow to be massive, long-living trees. When in a forest, they grow much taller than when they grow alone. However, when grown alone, they can sometimes be as wide as they are tall. The average life of a white oak is between 200 and 300 years with some estimated to live more than 600 years. A tree that old would have been alive when Galileo made his first observations in a telescope in 1607. The leaves of the white oak are bright green on top with 7-9 rounded lobes and are approximately 5-8 inches long. The base of the leaf is v-shaped. As with all oaks, the fruit of the white oak is an acorn. The acorns are ¾ to 1 inch in size and are oblong in shape. They are frequently eaten by wildlife including squirrels and chipmunks.


Fun Facts

● This tree gets its name from the white-colored characteristic of the underleaf.
● The white oak is the state tree of Illinois, Maryland, and Connecticut.
● White oak wood is used to make wine and whiskey barrels. Bourbon whiskey is almost always aged in white oak barrels.

“If Trees Could Sing” is a project of The Nature Conservancy that highlights several recording artists and demonstrates the importance of trees. Check out what David Olney has to say about white oaks. 
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