White oak
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Species: alba
Binomial name
Quercus alba
The white oak (Quercus alba) is one of the most magnificent of oaks. Normally not a tall tree, it nonetheless becomes quite massive and has been known to live over five hundred years. This species lends its name to one of the principal groups of oaks, the others being the red oak group (and the sub-group the willow oaks), and the live oak group.

Its wood is the best and most valuable of the white oaks, although most of the other white oaks' wood may be marketed with it.

The white oak is fairly tolerant of a variety of habitats, and may be found on ridges, in valleys, and in between, and in dry and moist habitats, and in moderately acid and alkaline soils. The leaves are entire and variously lobed. Sometimes the lobes are shallow, extending less than half-way to the midrib, but sometimes they are deeply lobed, with the lobes somewhat branching. The bark is a light ash-gray and somewhat peeling, variously from the top, bottom and/or sides.

The acorns are long and thin relative to most oaks, and are a valuable wildlife food.

The white oak makes an outstanding shade tree, with an exceptionally wide spread and almost never dropping limbs. However, it does not tolerate urban conditions well, although it may thrive in residential neighborhoods.

It is sometimes confused with the swamp white oak, a closely-related species, and the bur oak.