Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

White Oak

Quercus alba
Plant Type: Trees
Native Environment: Forest
Season of Interest: Late (July - frost), Winter (Nov - Mar)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color: Red

USDA PLANTS Range Map

At the range map link above, zoom in for county-level data

Sun Exposure 
Full Sun
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate
Nature Attracting
Butterfly, Songbirds
Wildlife Benefit
Butterfly / Moth Host, Cover, Food/Birds, Food/Small Animals, Nesting
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

50 to
80
feet

Spread:

50 to
90
feet
Size
Height: 50 to
80
feet
Spread: 50 to
90
feet
Size
Height: 50 to
80
feet
Spread: 50 to
90
feet
Typical Landscape Use
A long-lived, magnificent shade tree.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Prefers deep well drained soils, grows best in neutral to acidic soil. Prune in winter or early spring. Ideal to mulch with its own leaves to re-create forest situation. This can encourage the right conditions for spring ephemerals as well. Grow from acorn, nursery-grown containers that discourage long, circling tap roots,or field dug.
Special Features
Interesting Bark
Special Usage
Salt Tolerant
Basic Description

A massive and majestic, long-lived and beautiful oak with year-long interest. A dominant tree in many Missouri woods, with round-lobed leaves and smooth, medium-sized acorns. Foliage color is pinkish-white when emerging, opening to a medium green in summer, brown to various shades of wine red in fall. May hold leaves until early winter. Bark is ash-gray and scaly. A durable and long-lived tree. New root pruning and fertilization techniques in nursery production have made oaks easier to transplant and have given them faster growth rates. Red-banded hairstreak butterfly caterpillars feed on decaying sumac leaves and oak litter.

Oak species, as a group, serve as host plants for caterpillars of more than 500 different kinds of butterflies and moths. This is more than any other genus of tree. The caterpillars (larvae) feed on foliage, but without harming the trees. Oaks are vitally important in supporting nature’s web of life.

Where Should I Start?

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Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

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