38. WHITE OAK
Quercus alba Linnaeus
|White oak is an important forest tree in the southern two-thirds of the state, growing to large size and producing lumber of high grade and value. It is found in moist as well as in dry locations, and was once particularly abundant on what are now the best farmlands of the Genesee Valley. The wood is hard, heavy, strong, and durable. It is highly prized for furniture, flooring, implements, ties, and in general construction where strength is required, especially in piling and ships. White oak acorns are an important food for wildlife.|
|Bark - ashy
gray in color, broken by shallow furrows into long, irregular, thin scales which readily
flake off; on old trunks furrows frequently become deep.
Twigs - medium in thickness, greenish red to gray in color, smooth, sometimes covered with a bloom.
Winter buds - clustered at end of twigs, blunt, reddish brown in color, 1/8 inch long.
Leaves - alternate, simple, 5 to 9 inches long, with 5 to 9 rounded lobes, generally deeply cleft toward midrib, dark green in color above, paler below, frequently staying on tree over winter.
Fruit - an acorn, either with short stalk or stalkless, maturing in one year. Nut - light brown in color, 3/4 inch long, 1/4 enclosed in the cup, falling in September, frequently starts sprouting in late autumn. Meat - white, slightly bitter.
Distinguishing features - ashy gray, flaky bark; deeply cleft lobes in leaves; acorn 1/4 enclosed in cup.