Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: White Oak, Charter Oak
Quercus alba

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Quercus (KWER-kus) (Info)
Species: alba (AL-ba) (Info)

Synonym:Quercus alba var. subcaerulea
Synonym:Quercus alba var. subflavea

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

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over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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By melody
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There are a total of 42 photos.
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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Nov 10, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A mature white oak is a majestic sight.

However, this species is rarely planted, because production is difficult, transplanting can be a problem, and after the first 20-30 years growth becomes very slow. Today few people have a sufficient sense of stewardship for the land to plant such a tree.

"When man encroaches and builds roads and houses in white oak timber, the trees often gradually decline and die. This is, in part, due to compaction, ruination of mycorrhizal associations, and removal of the recycled organic matter from under the trees."---Michael Dirr

Please do not construct lawn under your white oaks, and restrain your "fall leaf cleanups", if you want to preserve them.

Positive Rickwebb On Nov 9, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

One of the most glorious trees of the whole world. Beautiful leaves, strong form, and gray to brown-gray scaly bark, and good orange-bronze or russet fall color. Acorns great for wildlife. State tree of Illinois.

Positive alexgr1 On Oct 7, 2008, alexgr1 from Dunnellon, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Beautiful shade tree. I have one 20' from my house foundation, planted 18 years ago. Once it hits a water vain it grows to be a beautiful tree. Squirrels love the acorns.

Positive CaptMicha On Jul 25, 2006, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've been trying to identify these trees that are in the woods on the property for a long time and finally stumbled across Quercus alba.

White oak is a very hardy and attractive tree. The large, smooth and lobed leaves gives the tree a special quality that makes stand out on the property.

Mine are growing in part-sun and I've yet to see any fruit.

Positive ViburnumValley On Jan 14, 2006, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Agree with everything Melody has noted, adding that white oak is exceedingly happy in central and eastern KY as well. AND, a very well-known use for white oak's wood is in constructing the barrels which become the home of some very fine liquid products from this part of the world: Kentucky bourbon.

White oaks are among the longest lived species of broad-leaved deciduous trees here in the Ohio River valley, along with bur oak, chinkapin oak, and blue ash. It's a great tree, and it ought to be planted much more often than it currently is.

Neutral TREEHUGR On Dec 24, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to a dozen or so counties in the Florida panhandle region in well drained uplands and lowlands. However it's native range includes most of the US except a sliver of southeastern Texas, some of california. They get large and have a pyramid shape. Slow growers.

Showy, reliable fall color. Long lived and durable tree with few pests.

Q. alba acorns which measure .75 to 1 inch in size are a food source for over 180 wildlife species! Deer also browse on the twigs and leaves.

Long tap root can make transplanting difficult so plant when young.

One of the most desired oaks for lumber.

Positive melody On Jul 7, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

One of the wonderful Oak species that populate West KY. The lobed leaves without any barbs on the ends will identify this tree. There are between 7 and 11 lobes per leaf and the leaves are about 8" long. Also known as the Eastern White Oak, it's range is pretty much everything east of IA, MO, AR and east TX, with the exception of FL.

The wood is used in flooring and fine furniture. The acorns are attractive to wildlife.

White Oaks can get very large, with mature trees sometimes reaching as much as 150'. 60' to 80' is the normal range however.

A white Oak is usually broader than tall with a rounded profile.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Pelham, Alabama
Sherwood, Arkansas
Lake City, Florida
Hinesville, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Grayslake, Illinois
Hampton, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Marrero, Louisiana
Brookeville, Maryland
Laurel, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Holt, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
South Saint Paul, Minnesota
Florence, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Aurora, Missouri
Cole Camp, Missouri
Kinston, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Gibsonburg, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Blairsville, Pennsylvania
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Christiana, Tennessee
Viola, Tennessee
Newport News, Virginia
Wytheville, Virginia
Cambridge, Wisconsin

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