Raising Your Swamp White Oak and White Oak

About this Tree

             This tree is a Swamp White oak (Quercus bicolor).  The leaves are faintly lobed, with a wavy edge, and without bristles.

Dirr characterizes it as a tree that  “forms a broad, open, rounded-topped crown and a short limby trunk.  It is generally considered easier than white oak (Quercus alba) to establish.  [There are] many beautiful specimens at Mt. Airy, Cincinnati, OH.”  (Adapted from Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Dirr, fifth edition.)

A Suitable Site

     Planting locations should be selected with the tree’s ultimate dimensions and needs in mind.  The Swamp white oak grows to 50-60 ft high and wide.  In the wild, it is often found in more or less swampy situation, often occurring in moist bottomlands and along the banks of streams. Excellent drought resistance is inherent in the species.

About this Tree

            This tree is a White oak (Quercus alba).  The leaves are lobed without bristled edges.  Dirr characterizes it as a tree that “pyramidal when young; a very imposing specimen when full grown, one of the most handsome oaks.  The bark is a light ashy gray.”  (Adapted from Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Dirr, fifth edition.)

A Suitable Site

            The white oak grows slowly to 50-80 ft high and wide.  It performs maximally in deep, moist, well-drained soils; prefers acid soils in full sun.  It requires patience at the beginning because it is slow to establish while it establishes an extensive root system, but then it grows steadily.  White oak is a durable, long-lived tough tree.

Observations for Audubon Park:

“White oaks” include both White Oak and Swamp White Oak.  These are slow growing large trees. Several of both species have been planted recently and can be distinguished because they retain their winter leaves.  There are several at 3206 Linnet flanking the front door.

We will have White Oak (Q. alba) available as a bareroot seedling.  REMEMBER YOU MUST HAVE PATIENCE with White Oak, and tolerate winter leaves.




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