White oak or Quercus (all oaks are Quercus) alba (Latin for white) is a long-lived native of eastern North America. The name refers to the color of the bark. This may seem puzzling at first, as the bark appears more grey than white. However, if you came across this tree in a dark forest, you would see that the White Oak has a pale glow that causes this tree to stand out from its neighbors. And in winter, when the heavy bare limbs and the light colored trunk catch the low sun, it is stark and beautiful against the sky. Then in spring, the new leaves emerge a soft pink covered in a slivery down; lovely and delicate, and this from such a massive powerful tree. The pink leaves then change to the chartreuse of mid spring and works its way to the dark green of summer. Finally, as the season comes to an end and autumn arrives, most White Oaks develop rich burgundy foliage.

The acorns are large and sweet and generally produced in alternate years. These are the acorns that often figure in woodland motifs, and they are a huge favorite of wild life. In fact, it is hard to imagine any tree that offers more to local fauna than a White Oak which recommends it for the Wildlife Friendly Garden.
As tall trees go, this is not a particularly tall tree, rarely reaching a hundred feet and generally more at 75 feet. But when planted alone, as a specimen, it develops into a broad tree with massive limbs that convey strength and permanency. Which is more than just an illusion. Studies after hurricanes indicate that it is one of the most reliable trees against high winds.
It is the state tree of several US states and grows throughout eastern North America from Canada to Florida and as far west as Iowa and Texas. The wood is highly prized and is the first choice for whiskey barrels in North America and the United Kingdom.
As a shade tree and a contributor to wildlife, the White oak is second to none. And most importantly the blessings of this tree will last generations.

White oak


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