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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.

Benefits

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.


Height
50-60 Feet

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Spread
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
Exposure
Sun
Soil
Acidic
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Moist
Wet
Attracts Wildlife
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Mammals
Songbirds
Bloom Time
Early Spring
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Songbird
Wet Sun
Native Habitat
Forest
Grassland
Foliage Color
Dark Green
Uses
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