White Oak
(Quercus alba L.)

Graphic of the White Oak

LEAVES: Alternate, simple, 6"-9" long, and 4" wide, with 6-10 rounded lobes; bright green above, paler below, both surfaces smooth on mature leaves.

TWIGS: Red-grey, often with a grayish coating. Buds rounded, reddish-brown, smooth, to 1/8" long; end buds clustered.

FRUIT: An acorn, ¾-1" long, light brown, cup bowl like, hairy inside, enclosing ¼ of the nut; cup scales warty at the base. Acorn ripens in September after one season.

BARK: Pale grey, scaly, not deeply fissured, often flaky.

GENERAL: A dominant forest tree on dry to moist sites throughout the Commonwealth usually reaching 80'-100' high. This tree is very important to both wildlife and people. The acorn is an important wildlife food and eastern Native Americans made a flour from these acorns. Traditional uses of White oak wood include hardwood flooring, whiskey barrels and boat building. The famous Revolutionary War frigate, USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides", was made of White oak. The "white oak group" includes all oaks without bristle-tipped lobes and acorns that ripen in one season.