Oak, White

Oak, WhiteOak, White — The tree species Quercus alba is also called “white oak”. It is a long-lived oak in the family Fagaceae, native to eastern North America, from southern Quebec west to eastern Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and eastern Texas. Specimens are known to have lived over 600 years.

Although called the white oak it is very unusual to find an individual with white bark; the usual color is an ashen gray. In the forest it reaches a magnificent height. In the open it develops into a massive broad-topped tree with great limbs striking out at wide angles.

Normally not a very tall tree, typically 65-85ft tall at maturity, it nonetheless becomes quite massive and its lower branches are apt to reach far out laterally parallel to the ground. The tallest known white oak is 144ft tall. It is not unusual for a white oak tree to be as wide as it is tall. Conversely, specimens at high altitude may only be small shrubs. White oaks have been known to live over five hundred years. The bark is a light ash-gray and somewhat peeling, variously from the top, bottom and/or sides.

In spring the young leaves are exquisite in their delicate silvery pink, covered with soft down as with a blanket. The petioles are short, and the leaves which cluster close to the ends of the shoots are pale green and downy with the result that the entire tree has a misty, frosty look which is very beautiful. This lovely vision continues for several days passing through the opalescent changes of soft pink, silvery white and finally yellow green.

The leaves grow to 5-8.5 in long and 2.75-4.5 in broad, with a deep glossy green upper surface turning reddish brown in autumn; some brown leaves may remain on the tree throughout winter until very early spring. They are variably 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 acorns are usually sessile, and grow to .5-1 in long, falling in early October.

Its wood is the best and most valuable of the white oaks, although wood of most of the other white oaks may be marketed with it. White oak is relatively rot resistant. It was a signature wood used in mission oak furniture by Gustav Stickley in the Craftsman style in the Arts and Crafts movement. White Oak’s have cellular structures called tyloses. Tyloses give the wood a closed cellular structure, which does not allow water to pass. Tyloses are cell ingrowths of living wood parenchyma into the cavities of xylem conducting cells. The white oaks, with tyloses, are used in making wine and whiskey barrels as well as outdoor furniture. Red Oaks do not have the tyloses, thus white oak barrels are used in wine and whiskey production to prevent leaking, which would be the result of using red oaks. It has been used for construction, shipbuilding, cooperage, agricultural implements, and interior finish of houses.

Check Also

Rashifal - राशिफल

साप्ताहिक राशिफल अगस्त 2022: दारूवाला

साप्ताहिक राशिफल 08 – 14 अगस्त, 2022 साप्ताहिक राशिफल अगस्त 2022: राशियाँ राशिचक्र के उन …