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White oak

Closeup image of green oak leaves and acorns

White oak

White oak tree description TreeNA post

About the white oak

White oak - Quercus alba

Identification: White oaks can be identified by their long, lobed leaves with curved edges. This differentiates them from red oak varieties, which have pointed tips. Leaves turn red or burgundy in fall. In spring, oaks make catkins, and in the fall, they produce oval acorns with a bumpy cap. White oak bark is light gray and ridged. Oaks are large, slow growing trees that can live for hundreds of years.

Height: 50-80 feet

Preferences: Full sun to partial shade. Hardiness zones 3-9. Prefer well-drained soil.

Wildlife value: The acorns of the white oak tree are a favorite food of wildlife including birds, deer, bears, rabbits and rodents. The acorns are less bitter than those of red oaks, containing fewer tannins. Birds are known to eat oak leaf buds and deer eat all parts of white oaks.

Uses: White oak is used to make cabinets, furniture, trim and veneer. It is also used to make barrels for winemaking and in boatbuilding for its moisture-resistant properties.