Quercus bicolor

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: swamp white oak 
Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Native Range: Northeastern North America
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 50.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 50.00 to 60.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Tolerate: Wet Soil


Easily grown in average, medium to wet, acidic soil in full sun.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Quercus bicolor, commonly called swamp white oak, is a medium sized, deciduous tree with a broad, rounded crown and a short trunk which typically grows at a moderate rate to a height of 50-60' (sometimes larger). Leaves are dark, shiny green above and silvery white beneath, with 5-10 rounded lobes or blunt teeth along the margins. Fall color is yellow, but sometimes reddish purple. Insignificant flowers in separate male and female catkins in spring. Fruits are acorns which mature in early fall. Indigenous to north, central and eastern Missouri in moist to swampy locations in bottomlands and lowlands, such as along streams and lakes, valleys, floodplains and at the edge of swamps. Also has surprisingly good drought resistance.

Genus name comes from the classical Latin name for oak trees.

Specific epithet refers to the leaves being shiny green above and silvery white beneath.


Generally a durable and long-lived tree, but is susceptible to a large number of potential diseases and insect pests, including anthracnose, canker, leaf spot, rust, blight, galls, caterpillars, borers, leaf miners, oak lace bug and oak mite. Chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves while the veins remain green) often occurs when soils are not properly acidic. Can be difficult to transplant and establish.


Specimen, street tree, lawn tree. A good tree for wet ground and low spots.