Quercus alba – White Oak Tree

Botanical Name: Quercus alba

The White Oak tree is a large, stately deciduous tree. The growth habit is pyramidal as a juvenile, with the crown becoming wide spreading and rounded with age. It grows to a height of 50-80 feet tall with a spread of 50-80 feet.

This tree is the state tree of Illinois and native to much of the Eastern United States. It has long been used by indigenous people to make medicine to cure many medical conditions.

The grayish white bark gives the White Oak tree its name – the species name, alba, is Latin for white. Its flowers appear right after the leaves in mid to late spring, as inconspicuous, separate male and female catkins. They are greenish-yellow in color. The fruits are oval shaped acorns that grow up to 3/4 inch in size. The acorn cups are covered in warts or scales.

The leaves emerge bright green with a tinge of pink in the spring. They are large, classically lobed oak leaves and mature to a handsome dark green as the growing season progresses. Juvenile trees, in particular, will hold their bronze red fall color long into winter.

The White Oak tree can adapt to a range of soil types. It is also tolerant of dry soils, drought conditions, and sites with limited root space, making it ideal for planting as a street tree.


Height: 50-80 ft.
Width: 50-80 ft.
Shape: Rounded
Flower Color: Yellowish-Green
Flowering Time: May
Fall Color: Red, Brown
Features: Long lasting fall color, excellent shade tree
Exposure: Full Sun
Watering: Moderate & Regular
Soil: Prefers rich, acidic, moist, and well-drained loam soils.
Growth Rate: Slow
USDA Zones: 3-9
Uses: Lawn tree, shade tree, park tree, street tree
Similar Trees: Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana), Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra), Northern Black Oak (Quercus velutina)

Additional information



Flower Color

Green, Yellow

Flowering Time


Fall Color

Brown, Red

Growth Rate



Lawn Tree, Park Tree, Shade Tree, Street Tree

USDA Zones

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Mature Height


Mature Width



Full Sun

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