White oak is a massive, long-lived stately tree with wide-spreading horizontal branches and wine red fall color. This native tree provides shade for larger landscapes and parks.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area
- North America
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Zone 9
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Alkaline soil
- Clay soil
- Road salt
- Acid soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Mid winter
- Late spring
- Mid fall
- Late fall
Size & Form
50 to 80 feet high and wide
Pyramidal in youth; upright-rounded with age; wide spreading branches at maturity
Tree & Plant Care
Majestic state tree of Illinois. A long-lived tree for large landscapes and parks.
Does not tolerate wet conditions, best planted in well-drained sites.
Prune oaks in the dormant season to avoid attracting beetles that may carry oak wilt.
Roots are sensitve to soil disturbances, such as compaction and construction.
Disease, pests, and problems
Difficult to transplant due to taproot
Oak wilt, anthracnose, two-lined chestnut borer
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
This tree provides food and cover for many birds and wildlife.
Bark color and texture
Gray to light tan, with thick overlapping plates or thick ridges.
Often large sections of bark on trunk is smooth due to a harmless fungus, called smooth patch.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
New leaves emerge pinkish, changing to dark green, fall color is a wine red.
Leaf margins are rounded. Lobes can be small or large.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Drooping, male catkins appear in April.
Female flowers are inconspicuous tiny spikes in axils of new leaves
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
1-inch long, single or paired nut is enclosed with a warty cap.
Acorns ripen in fall and can be considered a litter probles, especially near sidewalks and patios.