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Quercus alba

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Kemper Code:  L930

Common Name: white oak
Zone: 3 to 9
Plant Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: Eastern United States
Height: 50 to 80 feet
Spread: 50 to 80 feet
Bloom Time: May   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Best grown in rich, moist, acidic, well-drained loams in full sun. Adapts to a wide variety of soil conditions with good drought tolerance.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

White oak is a large deciduous Missouri native tree of the white oak group. It typically occurs in dry upland slopes and ledges as well as lowland valleys and ravines throughout the State. Grows to 50-80' tall in cultivation and taller (to 100') in the wild. Pyramidal when young, but matures into a substantial tree with a wide-spreading, rounded crown. Insignificant yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring shortly after the leaves emerge. Fruits are oval acorns (to 3/4" long) with warty-scaled cups. Leaves (4-9" long) have 7 to 9 deep rounded lobes. Leaves emerge pinkish in spring, but mature to dark green. Variable fall color ranges from uninteresting browns to quality shades of dark red. White oak grows over much of eastern North America and is an important hardwood timber tree. Widely used in landscapes, but slow growth rate and large size has somewhat tempered its popularity. Species name of alba means white in reference to the light ash-gray bark.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

Potential diseases include oak wilt, anthracnose and oak leaf blister. Potential insects include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner and lace bug.


Large shade tree, street tree or lawn tree. Needs a large space in which to grow.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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