Quercus alba

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: white oak 
Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 50.00 to 80.00 feet
Spread: 50.00 to 80.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Insignificant
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Black Walnut


Best grown in rich, moist, acidic, well-drained loams in full sun. Adapts to a wide variety of soil conditions with good drought tolerance.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Quercus alba, commonly called white oak, is a large deciduous Missouri native tree of the white oak group. It typically occurs in dry upland slopes and ledges as well as lowland valleys and ravines throughout the State. Grows to 50-80' tall in cultivation and taller (to 100') in the wild. Pyramidal when young, but matures into a substantial tree with a wide-spreading, rounded crown. Insignificant yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring shortly after the leaves emerge. Fruits are oval acorns (to 3/4" long) with warty-scaled cups. Leaves (4-9" long) have 7 to 9 deep rounded lobes. Leaves emerge pinkish in spring, but mature to dark green. Variable fall color ranges from uninteresting browns to quality shades of dark red. White oak grows over much of eastern North America and is an important hardwood timber tree. Widely used in landscapes, but slow growth rate and large size has somewhat tempered its popularity.

White oak is the Illinois State Tree.

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

Species name of alba means white in reference to the light ash-gray bark.


Potential diseases include oak wilt, anthracnose and oak leaf blister. Potential insects include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner and lace bug.


Large shade tree, street tree or lawn tree. Needs a large space in which to grow.