White oak is one of the preeminent hardwoods of eastern and central North America. It is a long-lived oak, native to eastern and central North America and found from Minnesota, Ontario, Quebec, and southern Maine south as far as northern Florida and eastern Texas.  Specimens have been documented to be over 450 years old. Although called a white oak, it is very unusual to find an individual specimen with white bark; the usual color is a light grey. The name comes from the color of the finished wood. In the forest it can reach a magnificent height and in the open it develops into a massive broad-topped tree with large branches striking out at wide angles.

White Oak Facts

  • Scientific name: Quercus alba
  • Range: most of the eastern United States
  • Height: up to 100 ft.
  • Fruit: egg-shaped acorns
  • Fall colors: orange, red and brown
  • Distinguishing feature: the wood inside this tree is white

You Can Take Care of Trees Like the White Oak

  • Plant in late fall or winter when the tree is dormant, unless the ground is frozen.
  • Allow plenty of room for the tree to mature and grow.
  • Water it regularly in its first three years.
  • Spread mulch around the base of the tree. 

If Trees Could Sing…

Click here to see David Olney talk about one of his favorite trees. Video courtesy of The Nature Conservancy and David Olney.