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Quercus alba L.

Eastern white oak, white oak

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFagalesBirch, she-oak, beech, walnut, bayberry, others
FamilyFagaceaeBeech familhy
GenusQuercusLatin for “oak”
SpeciesalbaLatinalba, “white”

About plant names...

White oak is one of the most prominent native trees of North America. "White" is because the wood is lighter in color than pink-tinged red oak.

Identification: Trees reach heights of 65-80' (19-24 m), with a maximum recorded height of 182' (55 m). These trees live up to 600 years. Under the right conditions they have a very wide crown, with some branches growing sideways, almost parallel to the ground. Leaves are 4-8" (10-20 cm) long, with 5-9 lobes with rounded edges. In the fall, leaves turn purple-red. See the Quercus comparison table.

This robust hardwood is often used for furniture-making, along with red oak. White oak has finer pores than red oak. Both are durable, strong woods, with good dimensional stability.

Online References:



The University of Connecticut Plant Database


Blue Planet Biomes

The Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

The University of Florida Environmental Horticulture site

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

The USDA Forest Service's Silvics of North America site

The Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

The USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database



Sibley, David Allen, The Sibley Guide to Trees, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p. 206

Quercus alba L. var. subcaerulea A.L. Pickens & M.C. Pickens

Quercus alba L. var. subflavea A.L. Pickens & M.C. Pickens


Quercus alba description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Quercus alba (Eastern white oak, white oak)

5/29/2010 · Maine Audubon Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth, Maine ID is uncertain

Quercus alba (Eastern white oak, white oak)

5/27/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Quercus alba (Eastern white oak, white oak)

9/25/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Quercus alba (Eastern white oak, white oak)

8/14/2013 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 16 × 24" (39 × 59 cm)


About this map...