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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.
Wildlife: Acorns are eaten by squirrels, blue jays, crows, red-headed woodpeckers, deer, turkey, quail, mice, chipmunks, ducks and raccoons.
Timber: White oak’s wood is strong and durable for staves for barrels, lumber, flooring, and interior woodwork.
Recreation and Beautification: White oak is an excellent ornamental tree because of its broad round crown, dense foliage, and purplish-red to violet-purple fall color.
County Distribution Map for Illinois:
Sources for the Sullivan Middle School Tree Identification Guide were obtained though the use of the following sites:
- Illinois Plant Information Network (ILPIN) @ http://www.fs.fed.us/ne/delaware/ilpin/ilpin.html#Background
- List of Woody Plants Native or Naturalized in Illinois @ http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/~kenr/woody.html
- Tree Species @ http://ostermiller.org/tree/species.html
- Index to Eastern/Central Trees @ http://www.arborday.org/trees/ECtreelist.html
- ISU Forestry Extension Identification of Common Trees of Iowa @ http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Pages/tree/
- Key to Leaves of Virginia Trees @ http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/forsite/key/intro.htm
- List of Native Trees for Use Along Roadsides in Illinois @ http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/~kenr/treetable.html
- The PLANTS Database @ http://plants.usda.gov/