Quercus alba L.

White Oak

Broad-crowned deciduous tree to 20-30 m tall. Bark thick, grey, fissured. Young shoots reddish, hairless. Leaves obovate or oblong, generally 10-20 cm long, 8-15 cm wide, thin; margins with 3-4(5) deep lobes; tip rounded, base tapering, green above, waxy blue below; autumn colour brownish-red. Leaf stalk 1-2.5 cm long, thick. Acorns generally 1.5-3 cm long enclosed for about a third of its length in a cup of densely packed, hairy scales; stalk absent or to 2 cm long.

E North America

Grows naturally in a range of soils and habitats from edges of rivers to mountains alt. 200-1500 m. This species is known to hybridise readily and a massive mature hybrid specimen tree may be seen at the entrance to the Oak Lawn in the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens).

Some variants are similar to Q. robur but are distinguished by leaf stalks that are more than 1 cm long, and leaf lobes further divided at their tips.

Bark grey, thick; leaves bluish below, obovate, thin, with 3-4 main lobes cut more than one third of the way to the midrib; acorn scales warty.

VIC: Kyneton (Kyneton Botanic Gardens); Melbourne (Government House; former ABC building corner William and Lonsdale Sts; Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens), entrance to Oak Lawn, hybrid); Mentone (Williams St); St Arnaud (close to Q. frainetto)

Hardin (1975), McArdle & Santamour (1987a).

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Fagaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Fagales
family       Fagaceae
genus        Quercus L.