Swamp White Oak

Swamp White Oak

Quercus bicolorDeciduous

Swamp white oak has become one of the most popular oaks for planting in recent years. The swamp white oak is an excellent tree for planting in the yard or as a woodland tree. The tree is native to much of the eastern US, extending from New England into central Iowa.

Swamp White Oak tree.
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Where To Grow

While swamp white oak prefers rich deep wet to even poorly drained soils, it also does well on drier, compacted sites. Trees that can tolerate wet sites can often do well on compacted sites since their roots have developed to grow in low oxygen soils. Swamp white oak can have problems on high pH soils but this is not always the case. If the tree is going to struggle it will show it within the first few years after planting.
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Suitable to plant east of the 100th meridian.
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Size at Maturity


Tree Height Tree Spread
45-65’ 40-50'
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Tree Characteristics

Its leaves, which somewhat resemble bur oak, are glossy green above and silvery pubescent on the underside, thus its scientific name ‘bicolor’Its scaly, peeling bark is similar to that of white oak.

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Wildlife Benefits

As with most oaks, the acorns are treasured by the squirrels.

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Additional Considerations

It is typically found in lowlands along waterways and swampy areas, thus its common name.  Swamp White oak can be chlorotic on high pH soils, which makes its use questionable in central and western Nebraska.


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Interesting Facts

Swamp white oak is actually a lowland tree and is native throughout most of the northeastern United States and as far west as Iowa and south to Arkansas. As a matter of fact, there are over 80 species of oak growing in North America.