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White Oak

Scientific name

Quercus alba


The White Oak is a large tree (30m) which often has a rounded pyramidal form with two thirds of the trunk being branchless. This creates a broad, full crown on the remaining one third of the trunk. This tree produces alternative, 10 to 20 cm long leaves with 7 to 9 rounded lobes and notches. The White Oak will produce 2 cm acorns with rounded warty cups enclosing one quarter of the nut. The bark is a pale grey colour, occasionally with a reddish tinge and becomes hard, rough, and scaly upon maturation. In addition, White Oak is a long-lived species which can grow up to 400 years old and is known to be strong and sturdy. White Oak is often commonly confused with Bur Oak. Some contrasting features include, leaves on a White Oak tree are hairless on the underside, while those on a Bur Oak are hairy. White Oak branchlets are smooth, whereas Bur Oak branchlets are typically covered in corky ridges. Finally, the acorns of a White Oak are only enclosed by the cup on a quarter of the nut, while the cup covers one half or more of the nut on a Bur Oak acorn.

Planting conditions

White Oak is best grown in rich, moist, well-drained loamy soil with full or partial sun exposure. Tolerant of drought and acidic soil.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
    • Moist
    • Drought Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 30m
  • Spread:
    • 3m