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White Oak

Quercus alba L.

White oak
Figure 116.—White oak (Quercus alba)
Other common names.—Stone oak, stave-oak.

Habitat and range.—The white oak is found in woods from Maine to Minnesota and south to Florida and Texas but is most abundant in the North Central and Middle Atlantic States.

Description.—This tree is usually from 60 to 80 feet high, but in dense woods it sometimes reaches a height of 150 feet. The trunk attains a diameter of 3 to 4 feet with many wide-spreading branches. The leaves are red and hairy when young, becoming smooth and thin when older. In autumn they turn a beautiful red. The leaves are 4 to 7 inches long, borne on short stems, and are usually divided into five to nine lobes. When the leaves appear the very small greenish or yellowish flowers are produced. The male flowers are borne in slender, usually drooping spikelike clusters and the female flowers singly. The acorns mature in the autumn.

Part used.—The bark, preferably that from trunks or branches 10 to 25 years old, which should be collected in the spring. The outer layer is first scraped off.

Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update Friday, April 3, 1998 by aw