White Oak Fact Sheet
Family: Fagaceae - Beech family
Latin name: Quercus bicolor
Common name: Swamp white oak
- Leaves in summer are two colored - dark green on top, whitish or gray green with
fine hairs on bottom
- Leave in fall and winter are two colored - reddish brown on top and white on bottom
- Has a long stem (peduncle)
- One or two acorns per stem
Notes about photos
- Photos 1-4 - Pictures were taken on 2/12/2005 - 5/04/2005 - 5/10/2005 - 7/2/2005
- Growth habit of Quercus bicolor, Swamp white oak, habit in winter,
spring and summer.
- Photo 5 - taken April 15.
- A few acorn caps remained on the tree during the
- Note the long stem on the acorn
- Catkins and leaves begin emerging in the middle of April.
- Photos 6 - 7-taken May 4th and May 10th 2005
- Flowers of the Swamp white oak emerge with the leaves.
- Blossoming of leaves and flowers made a big change in the tree during the six
days in May.
- Look at the photos in the 3rd row to see the growth that
helped fill out this tree in just six days. Finding
that I'd taken 2 pictures of this branch six days apart was an pleasant discovery,
particularly since they were taken at a time when there was so much activity.
- Photos 8 - 9
of the buds don't necessarily open at the same time. Leaves and flowers on this
branch are more fully developed, than on the branch above left. even though the
photos were taken on the same day. Swamp white oak is monoecious; male and
female flowers appear on the same tree in May to June.
early May, the leaves have become more fully developed and the male catkins seem
past their prime.
- Photo 10
- Quercus bicolor, gets its name from its two-toned leaves.
- The upper
surface of the leaf is dark green and shiny, the lower surface is whitish with
- Unfortunately I don't have a photo showing the dark green and white combination.
- Fall/winter leaves retain the "bicolor" appearance, reddish brown and white.
- Photos 11 - 12
- Summer leaves
- The edge of
the leaf is wavy with 5 - 10 shallow lobes on each side.
- Photos 13 - 15
- Acorns of Swamp white oak
fruit of the Swamp white oak is an acorn that matures in one year.
- There are
generally two acorns at the end of a long "peduncle" (stalk), but sometime only one of the pair develops.
- The acorns are sweet and are eaten by squirrels, white-tailed deer,
beaver, black bear, wood ducks and some
non-game birds. By the time the acorns are mature, the cap covers less than 1/3
of the fruit.
- The acorns of the Quercus bicolor fall in September or
- The seeds aren't dormant and will begin to germinate soon after
- Minimum seed bearing age is 20 years with optimum bearing age 75-200
- Good crops occur every 3 - 5 years.
- Photos 16 - 17
- The bark is furrowed and branches may be flaky.
- The Swamp white oak provides homes and cover for a variety of birds and
Additional photos and drawings
There are 135 tagged Swamp white oak trees listed in the Morton Arboretum Data
Many of the pictures on this page
are of a tree that is located in the "Central Area" of
Morton Arboretum in the
Midwest collection, it is just a few feet from Parking 2.
Arboretum accession tag 463-84*4.
Arboretum grid location N-58/22-22
GPS location 41.81484, -088.06678
USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 - 8
Karren Wcisel © copyright
Send email to Karrenw@aol.com
Please ask for permission before using my photographs. Larger sizes and additional photographs
of the tree are often available.
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