White Oak

Quercus alba

Family Fagaceae


Notable Features
Leaves: Alternate* leaves have 7 to 11 lobes* with deep sinuses* and rounded ends. Leaf edges remain smooth, and the underside of the leaf is somewhat whitened; not hairy or leathery.
Twigs/Buds: Twigs smooth, not hairy and sprout alternate buds*, each less than ¼ inch (6 millimeters) in length, smooth, hairless, and blunt.
Bark: Bark is a light gray color, deeply and evenly furrowed, yet not flaking or peeling; horizontal and vertical grooves.
Acorns: Acorns appear in autumn, and have a relatively small cap*, taking up approximately 1/3 the length of the acorn. Texture of the cap somewhat bulbous and warty, not flaking and peeling.
Size/Shape: A tall tree, growing to be between 60 and 80 feet (18-24 meters).

Location on Campus

(click for map)

A fantastic example is located next to the statue of Louis Brandeis between the Shapiro Student Center, Rosenthal South, and Sherman Function Hall. Also found between Ziv 130 and Ridgewood 17, and throughout Sachar Woods.

Uses
Like all other oaks, the acorns are edible, yet should be leached* so as to dispel the extremely bitter taste of the chemical tannin*. Occasionally the acorns of the White Oak and other members of the White Oak group* can be eaten without leaching. Leached and dried acorns can be candied in a sugar solution, eaten as nuts, or ground into a flour or meal.

Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.