Riverwoods Preservation Council

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White Oak - Illinois State Tree

The White Oak is a large, stately tree that is common in Riverwoods ... at least as a mature tree. Saplings are rare, primarily because of deer browse and canopy shading by faster-growing trees such as maples.

white oak leaf
White Oak

pin oak leaf
Pin Oak

bur oak leaf
Bur Oak

swamp oak leaf
Swamp Oak

red oak leaf
Red Oak



White Oak Leaf

Unlike many other oaks, white oaks have adapted to the heavy, damp clay soil common in Riverwoods. They tolerate all but shallow, dry soil, and prefer damp, well-trained soil.

The white oak is a slow-growing tree, and probably the largest of the native oaks. It can reach 110 feet in height, with an equal spread.

The leaves of the white oak are similar to those of the pin oak - long with 3 to 4 pairs of pronounced lobes. The lobes on the white oak's leaves are rounded, whereas the lobes on the pin oak's leaves typically are more pronounced and sharply pointed.

There isn't anything white about the white oak. Its bark is gray, and sometimes develops a horizontally-ringed appearance as the tree ages. Its fall foliage varies from brown to red.

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© Riverwoods Preservation Council- - Page last updated: December 2009