White Oak (Quercus alba)


The white oak has dark green to blue-green leaves which turn beautiful shades of dark red in the fall. The tree's rich brown acorns are 1 inch long and are topped with quarter-inch-long, warty-scaled caps. This tree attracts birds and mammals.

Family: Fagaceae (Beech)

Characteristics: The 4-inch to 9-inch long leaves are dark green to blue-green and have rounded margins and lobes. In the fall, leaves turn a russet-red. This tree produces insignificant yellow-green flowers that appear as catkins. Acorns are 1 inch long, rich brown, and are a quarter of the way covered by warty-scaled caps. Bark is gray-brown and has thick overlapping plates that often chip off. This tree has a pyramidal shape when young and becomes oval-rounded to rounded with age, developing long, horizontally spreading branches. It grows 50-80 feet high and wide.

Foliage: Deciduous (leaves lost seasonally)

Geographic Origin: Eastern North America (native)

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

Number on Campus: 10

Sources: Dirr, Morton Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden