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Quercus bicolor Plant of Merit

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Kemper Code:  Q330

Common Name: swamp white oak
Zone: 3 to 8
Plant Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: Northeastern North America
Height: 50 to 60 feet
Spread: 50 to 60 feet
Bloom Time: April  
Bloom Color: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low


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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:

Easily grown in average, medium to wet, acidic soil in full sun.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Swamp white oak is a medium sized, deciduous tree with a broad, rounded crown and a short trunk which typically grows at a moderate rate to a height of 50-60' (sometimes larger). Leaves are dark, shiny green above and silvery white beneath, with 5-10 rounded lobes or blunt teeth along the margins. Fall color is yellow, but sometimes reddish purple. Insignificant flowers in separate male and female catkins in spring. Fruits are acorns which mature in early fall. Indigenous to north, central and eastern Missouri in moist to swampy locations in bottomlands and lowlands, such as along streams and lakes, valleys, floodplains and at the edge of swamps. Also has surprisingly good drought resistance.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

Generally a durable and long-lived tree, but is susceptible to a large number of potential diseases and insect pests, including anthracnose, canker, leaf spot, rust, blight, galls, caterpillars, borers, leaf miners, oak lace bug and oak mite. Chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves while the veins remain green) often occurs when soils are not properly acidic. Can be difficult to transplant and establish.

Uses:

Specimen, street tree, lawn tree. A good tree for wet ground and low spots.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011


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