Swamp White Oak
|Description||A common native tree that is useful for the urban canopy. The Swamp White Oak has interesting leaves, tolerance to compacted soils and provides food and habitat to wildlife.
|Usage||Specimen, shade, street tree.|
|Origin||Extreme southeast Canada, central and eastern USA|
|Form/texture||An open, rounded form, with a short, limby trunk.|
"A rounded tree with flaky bark, and often many twiggy tufts giving it an untidy look" (Jacobson).
|Leaf||Alternate, simple, green turning to yellow in fall.|
"The latin name for the species is bicolor, which is a descriptive of the contrast between the dark green, lustrous, upper leaf surface and the hairy, whitened, lower surface. When the wind is blowing, this gives a lively aspect to the trees, as the leaves flutter and flash with their white bottoms against the dark canopy" (Waldron).
|Flower||Inconspicuous, "but when profuse, the male catkins give the branches a misty chartreuse appearance" (Waldron).
|Fruit||"The sweet acorns are eagerly sought by deer, rabbits, squirrels and smaller rodents, woodpeckers, mallards and wood ducks" (Waldron).
|Exposure/culture||Full sun, part shade.|
Tolerant of a range of soil textures and soil pH.
Tolerates very wet to very dry soil moisture.
Resistant to heat, salt and soil compaction.
Few serious pest infestations.
|Comments||Naturally found on moist bottomlands and edges of swamps.|
This tolerance of Swamp White Oak to low oxygen in the root zone enables it to perform in compacted or poorly drained urban soils.
Tolerance to pH higher than 7.5 may depend on specific seed selection.
Waldron, G. 2003. Trees of the Carolinian Forest. The Boston Mills Press. Erin, Ontario. 275pp.