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Quercus bicolor

Swamp White Oak /

Swamp white oak is a deciduous tree with a broad, rounded crown. The dark, shiny green leaves are silver on the bottom side. Fall color is usually yellow, but sometimes reddish purple. Though ornamentally insignificant, flowers bloom in April attracting pollen-seeking insects that attract migrating vireos, tanagers and warblers in search of a meal. Large acorns mature in early fall providing food for deer, wild turkey, black bear, fox and gray squirrels. Indigenous to moist, bottomland locations, this oak has surprisingly good drought resistance.


  • Grows relatively fast for an oak
  • Pollen and emerging leaves attract a long list of pollinators and other insects
  • Insect-eating migrating birds visit the tree looking for pollinating insects at work
  • Acorns are a major food source for a variety of wildlife
  • Larval food source for many of the dusky wings and hairstreak butterflies
  • Will grow in low, moist areas

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Easy to grow in full sun. Plant in medium to moist, acidic soil. This is a large tree so give it plenty of room to reach full size.

50-60 Feet


50-60 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

Native Range

Swamp forests and floodplains; Maine and southern Quebec to Minnesota south to Missouri, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Native Trivia

Oak species account for one-third of the hardwood timber volume in the United States. Swamp white oak is not distinguished from white oak in commercial production. It is a heavy, hard wood used for furniture, flooring, boxes, crates, barrels, kegs, ships and boats.

"Energy-rich acorns are an excellent food source for chipmunks."

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
  • Deciduous Trees
  • Sun
  • Acidic
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Average
  • Moist
  • Wet
Attracts Wildlife
  • Beneficial insects
  • Butterflies
  • Mammals
  • Songbirds
Bloom Time
  • Early Spring
Critter Resistance
  • Deer Resistant
Habitat Collection
  • Butterfly
  • Songbird
  • Wet Sun
Native Habitat
  • Forest
  • Grassland
Foliage Color
  • Dark Green
  • Accent
  • Drought tolerant
  • Ornamental fruit
Native to
  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin