Swamp White Oak

Quercus biolor

Description:


The swamp white oak is somewhat scattered across its range, not always growing in abundance. It may be confused with white oak or swamp chestnut oak at a glance, and is a good producer of acorns.

Distribution:


Eastern US and Canada south to Alabama; distribution spotty in southern portion of its range.


Distribution Map

Habitat:


Bottomlands, near swamps or creek banks. Adaptable to upland habitat and sometimes planted as a landscape tree.

Leaf:


4" to 10" long, wider near the apex, with rounded lobes and shallow sinuses. Sinuses may vary in depth giving the leaf an irregular margin. Top of leaf is shiny green while the underside is silvery green or almost white.

Swamp White Oak

Bark:


Gray to light gray, scaly or flaky, and occasionally shaggy. Mature bark more furrowed.

Swamp White Oak

Acorn:


Medium (3/4" to 1") in size, with a scaly cap covering about 1/3 of the nut.

Swamp White Oak

Gallery

Look-alike oaks:


Swamp Chestnut Oak - leaves of swamp chestnut oak have more of a sawtooth margin with more "teeth" or lobes than those of swamp white oak. Acorns of swamp chestnut are also much larger.


White oak - bark and leaves may be similar at a glance, but leaves of white oak have deep sinuses while those of swamp white oak are very shallow. White oak also favors uplands while swamp white oak favors bottomlands.


Chinkapin Oak - Bark may be similar, but that of swamp white oak is usually more scaly. Leaves of chinkapin oak have a sawtooth margin with more "teeth" than the lobes of swamp white oak. Also, chinkapin oak is found in upland limestone soils while swamp white oak is found in bottomlands.