White Oak

Quercus alba Fagaceae

Other names

Forked-Leaved White Oak, Quebec Oak, Ridge White Oak, Stave Oak

Growth habit


Native distribution

Native to the Finger Lakes Region, Canada, USA


Adaptable to different soil types, but does best in well drained soils.


Keep moist. Float-test acorns. Keep the ones that sink, toss the rest. Sow in deep containers. Protect from rodents and squirrels.

Biocultural value

The Haudenosaunee and the Penobscot traditionally have boiled the bark and drank the liquid for diarrhea. They also have used it as an enema for hemorrhoids. The bark is extremely bitter and astringent due to the abundant tannins. And it is a powerful antiseptic.


Mundy Wildflower Garden, Houston and Grossman Ponds, Schnee Oak Collection, Bald Hill and Caroline Pinnacles, Coy Glen, Edwards Lake Cliffs Preserve, Fischer Old-growth Forest, Slaterville 600, McLean Bogs, Ringwood Ponds, South Hill Swamp

Source of plant

Doug Goldman, Klyn Nurseries, BCH, Plant Collections Consortium, KY , Princeton Nurseries, Schichtel's Nursery, Buckingham Forest Tree Nursery


Pyramidal when young, upright-rounded to broad rounded with wide-spreading branches at maturity. Can reach well over 100' in height in the wild; width far exceeds height. Fall color varies from brown to a rich red to a wine color and lasts for a long period of time.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

One of the most attractive big, wide-spreading shade trees. The acorns are a staple for many different wildlife species.