White Oak

Quercus alba

Copyright, Mark Brand

Erv Evans, North Carolina State University

White Oak is a large tree, growing up to 100 feet tall. Its trunk can get up to four feet across.

White Oaks usually grow in forests with other oaks, but can also be found on edges of lakes, ponds, and streams.

Leaves of White Oak are four to nine inches long, with between five and nine lobes (finger-like parts). They are bright green on top, and whitish underneath. White Oak leaves turn red or brown in the Fall, and will often stay on the branches of younger trees in the Winter.

Michael Clayton, Wisconsin State Herbarium

Copyright, Mark Brand

White Oaks have male and female flowers.

The male flowers are greenish-yellow catkins, up to four inches long, which hang from twigs.

Female flowers are small reddish spikes.

The fruit of White Oak is an acorn, growing over an inch long, with a warty cap. Many animals eat these acorns.

The bark of White Oak is light gray and scaly. Sometimes it flakes off.

Susan J. Aldworth, Trees and Shrubs of the Campus of Iowa State University

Copyright, Mark Brand

White Oaks are often associated with the following plants: other oaks, pines, hickories, maples, American Beech, Eastern Redcedar, Yellow Poplar, American Sycamore, Sassafras, Sweetgum, Chestnut, Black Cherry, and American Basswood.

This tree provides cover for many birds and small mammals, even in Winter, since its leaves often stay on.

Animals also use White Oak leaves and twigs as nest materials.

Copyright, Mark Brand

OPLIN

Some of the animals which eat White Oak acorns are Eastern Cottontail, White-footed Mouse, Eastern Gray Squirrel, Blue Jay, Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, Mallard, Common Crow, Eastern Chipmunk, and Raccoon.

White Oak depends on these animals, especially Blue Jays and squirrels, to spread its seeds to new places so new White Oaks can grow.

White-tailed Deer, Beaver, and Eastern Cottontails are known to eat twigs and leaves of White Oak.

Some pests of this tree include Gypsy Moths, Golden Oak Scale, weevils, and Honey Mushrooms, among others.

Some larger animals, such as Raccoons and Opossums, use White Oaks as dens if they have become hollow.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Eastern Cottontail

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Black Oak

European Gypsy Moth Pa

Beaver

Blue Jay

Southern Red Oak

Honey Mushrooom Pa

White-tailed Deer

American Robin

Willow Oak

Blue Jay D

Blue Jay

Raccoon

Eastern White Pine

Eastern Gray Squirrel D

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Virginia Opossum

Virginia Pine

Crowded Parchment Pa

Wild Turkey

Black Rat Snake

Mockernut Hickory

Turkey Tail Pa

Eastern Chipmunk

Wood Duck

Sassafras

Virginia Opossum D

Raccoon

Pileated Woodpecker

American Sycamore

Eastern Cottontail D

Luna Moth

Downy Woodpecker

American Beech

Wild Turkey D

White-footed Mouse

Mourning Cloak

Sweetgum

Mallard D

Mallard

Crane Fly

Yellow Poplar

Common Crow D

Common Crow

White-breasted Nuthatch

Eastern Redcedar

Wood Duck D

European Gypsy Moth

Dogday Harvestfly

Black Cherry

Common Grackle D

Wood Duck

Great Crested Flycatcher

Red Maple

White-breasted Nuthatch D

True Katydid

American Goldfinch

Smooth Sumac

Tufted Titmouse D

White-breasted Nuthatch

Luna Moth

Wild Grape

Northern Bobwhite D

Tufted Titmouse

European Gypsy Moth

Greenbrier

Jack O'Lantern Pa

Meadow Vole

Eastern Bluebird

Loblolly Pine

Eastern Chipmunk D

Muskrat

Harvestman

Common Dandelion

Death Cap Pa

Dogwood Borer

Dogwood Borer

Black Locust

Common Greenshield C

Relationship to Humans:

People use White Oak wood for lumber, furniture, paneling, flooring, railroad ties, fenceposts, mine timbers, caskets, barrels, shingles, baskets, and firewood. It is also planted in yards and parks as a shade tree.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Magnoliopsida
ORDER
Fagales
FAMILY
Fagaceae
GENUS
Quercus
SPECIES
Quercus alba

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