Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)


The swamp white oak is a medium sized, rounded tree. Its dark green leaves have an overall oval shape with 5-10 blunt, rounded lobes. These leaves turn yellow and sometimes red in the fall. The tree's acorns are 1-inch-long and halfway covered by a watry cap. This tree attracts birds and mammals.

Family: Fagaceae (Beech)

Characteristics: The coarsely 5-10 lobed, rounded leaves are dark green with silvery-white undersides. In the fall, leaves turn yellow-brown and sometimes russet-red. This tree produces insignificant yellow-green flowers that appear as catkins. Acorns are 1 inch long and half covered by a warty cap. Bark is brown-black and exfoliates when young, revealing the orange inner bark. With age, the bark becomes deeply ridged. This tree is pyramidal in youth and becomes rounded with age. It grows 50-60 feet high and wide.

Foliage: Deciduous (leaves lost seasonally)

Geographic Origin: Northeastern North America (native)

Cultivation Notes: Requires low maintenance. Does best in full sun. Prefers acidic, moist, and well-drained soils, though is tolerant to a wide range of soil conditions. This tree is tolerant to drought.

Number on Campus: 42

Sources: Dirr, Morton Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden