White Oak

Quercus alba

Native to eastern North America the white oak is a large tree growing to a height of 50–80′ and a spread of 50–80′ at maturity. Like all white oaks the leaf tips do not have a bristled tip and are instead smooth. This is a long lived, slow growing tree living over 400 years. Unlike the red oaks, white oaks have closed vessels making the wood suitable for barrels. The acorn is important for wildlife and can be identified by the knobby scaled cap. The bark features two distinct styles, lower on the tree the bark has rectangular ridges but as you go up the bark becomes platy. The white oak forever earned its place in history books when it was combined with other oak lumber to build the famous USS Constitution (also known as “Old Ironsides”). And even in World War II, white oak served our country as the keels of mine sweepers and patrol boats. It was (and still is) also preferred wood for those beautiful wooden barrels found in wineries and whiskey distilleries across the United States.


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