White Oak

Quercus alba L.



All photographs are copyrighted and are the property of E. Brunner.

Family:  Fagaceae

Native or Introduced to Illinois:  native

Natural Habit in Illinois:  mesic woods; wooded slopes; dry upland woods

Leaf:   The alternate single leaves are 4 to 7 inches long and about half as broad,deeply divided into seven to nine rounded, finger-like lobes. The young leaves are a soft, silvery gray or yellow to red when unfolding, later becoming bright green above and much paler be low.

Flower:   Male flowers are green, borne in naked catkins, 2 to 4 inches long. Female flowers are reddish and appear as single spikes. Appearing with the leaves.

Fruit:  The acorn is about 1 inch long, elliptical, and covered about 1/3 its length by a finely  scaled, rounded cup.

Twig:   The twigs are fine, and gray to green in color.

Bark:  The bark is ashy gray to a very light gray and decidedly scaly.  On older trunks it is somewhat ridged, but remains ashy gray and scaly.

Size/Form/Shape:   A large tree; when open grown, white oaks have rugged, irregular crowns that are wide spreading, with a stocky bole. In the forest crowns are upright and oval.

County Distribution Map for Illinois:  


Sources for the Sullivan Middle School Tree Identification Guide were obtained though the use of the following sites: