Overview

Brief Summary

Fagaceae -- Beech family

    Robert Rogers

    Swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) is a mediumsized tree of  the north central and northeastern mixed forests. It is found in  lowlands, along edges of streams, and in swamps subject to  flooding. It is rapid growing and long lived, reaching 300 to 350  years. The hard strong wood is commercially valuable and is  usually cut and sold as white oak. Many kinds of wildlife eat the  acorns, particularly ducks.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Robert Rogers

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Comprehensive Description

Description

This tree is typically 60-80' tall at maturity, developing a straight trunk about 2-3½' across and an ovoid to obovoid crown. In open sunny areas, the trunk is shorter and the crown is more broad, while in forested areas the trunk is longer and the crown is more narrow. Depending on the maturity of a tree, trunk bark is brown, gray-brown, or gray, rough-textured, and developing either irregular furrows with flat ridges or large flaky scales. Branch bark is similar to trunk bark, but more smooth, while the smooth twigs are brown or gray, smooth, and covered with scattered white lenticels. Alternate leaves about 4-7" long and 2½-4½" across occur along the twigs and young shoots. They are usually obovate (less often broadly elliptic) with 4-8 pairs of lobes along their margins. These lobes are shallow to moderately deep and they are either rounded or taper to blunt tips. The sinuses between the lobes are concave or bluntly cleft. The upper leaf surface is medium to dark green and glabrous, while the lower surface is whitish green to white and densely covered with short white hairs that are stellate and fine-textured. The leaf texture is rather leathery and stiff. The petioles are ½-1" long, light green or light yellow, and either glabrous or short-pubescent. Swamp White Oak is monoecious, producing separate male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers on the same tree. The male flowers are produced along drooping catkins about 2-4" long; the male flowers are sparsely distributed along these catkins in small clusters. Each male flower (about 1/8" in length) consists of several stamens that are embedded within hairy floral bracts. The female flowers are produced from the axils of leaves in clusters of 2-4. Each female flower (about 1/8" in length) consists of an ovary with usually 3 stigmata; it is embedded within an involucre consisting of hairy floral scales. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late-spring and lasts about 1-2 weeks. The flowers are cross-pollinated by wind. Afterwards, fertile female flowers develop into acorns that become ¾-1" long and ½-¾" across at maturity during the autumn of the same year. Usually, only 1-2 acorns develop near the tip of a long peduncle about ½-4" long, while the pedicel of each acorn is very short (less than 1/8" long). The cup of a mature acorn is tan-colored or light gray, while its body is brown; the cup extends to about one-third of the length of an acorn.  The scales of the cup are somewhat recurved and pointed, rather than appressed together. The white acorn meat is relatively sweet and edible. The woody root system is shallow to moderately deep and widely spreading. During the autumn, the deciduous leaves become brownish yellow, sometimes with patches of orange and red.
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Description

General: Beech Family (Fagaceae). Native trees commonly growing to 15–20 m, sometimes to 30 m, the lateral branches relatively persistent (slow in self-pruning), with an open, irregularly shaped crown; bark dark gray, scaly or flat-ridged, often peeling off in large, ragged, papery curls. Leaves are deciduous, alternate, obovate to narrowly elliptic or narrowly obovate, (8–)12–18(–21) cm long, (4–)7–11(–16) cm wide, usually with regularly spaced, shallow, rounded teeth, or toothed in distal half only, or moderately to deeply lobed, upper surfaces dark green and glossy, lower surfaces lighter green to whitish, softly hairy. Male and female flowers are borne in separate catkins on the same tree (the species monoecious) on the current year's branchlets. Acorns maturing the first year, ovoid-ellipsoid or oblong, mostly 1.5–3 cm long, single or clustered in groups of 2–4, on a stalk (peduncle) 3-8 cm long; cup enclosing 1/3–1/2 of the acorn, scales closely appressed, finely grayish tomentose, those near rim of cup often with a short, stout, irregularly recurved spinose tip. The common name is from its typical habitat and its membership in the white oak subgroup.

Swamp white oak is a member of the white oak subgroup (subgenus Quercus) and hybridizes with related species, including white oak (Q. alba), overcup oak (Q. lyrata), and bur oak (Q. macrocarpa). Swamp white oak is distinguished from all similar native species by its long-stalked acorns.

Variation within the species: Formal variants are not recognized.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center and the Biota of North America Program

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Swamp White Oak is occasional in most areas of Illinois, except in the NW section of the state, where it is rare or absent (see Distribution Map). Habitats include floodplain woodlands, edges of swamps, borders of streams, sloughs, poorly drained upland flats, and edges of vernal pools in wooded areas. Swamp White Oak is found with miscellaneous deciduous trees in poorly drained areas, including Green Ash, American Elm, Red Maple, Silver Maple, American Sycamore, Eastern Cottonwood, Pin Oak, Bur Oak, Shellbark Hickory, Sweet Gum, Black Gum, and Black Willow. Sometimes Swamp White Oak is cultivated as a landscape tree in parks and residential areas.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Swamp white oak occurs mainly in the midwestern states from Iowa,
southern Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio south to northern Kentucky.
Isolated populations occur in Minnesota, New England, Quebec, Ontario,
Tennessee, and North Carolina [18].
  • 18. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1971. Atlas of the United States trees. Volume 1. Conifers and important hardwoods. Misc. Publ. 1146. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 320 p. [1462]

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Occurrence in North America

CT DE IL IN IA KS KY ME MD MA
MI MN MO NH NJ NY NC OH PA RI
TN VT VA WV WI ON PQ

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Swamp white oak, a lowland tree, grows from southwestern Maine  west to New York, southern Quebec, and southern Ontario, to  central Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and southeastern Minnesota;  south to Iowa and Missouri; east to Kentucky, Tennessee,  Virginia, and New Jersey. It is scattered in North Carolina and  northeastern Kansas. This species is most common and reaches its  largest size in western New York and northern Ohio (4).

   
  -The native range of swamp white oak.


  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Robert Rogers

Source: Silvics of North America

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Ont., Que.; Ala., Conn., Del., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
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Swamp white oak occurs mainly in the Midwestern states from Iowa, Missouri, eastern Kentucky, and southern Wisconsin east to New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Isolated populations occur northward in Minnesota, other New England states, and Quebec and Ontario, and southward to Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center and the Biota of North America Program

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: tree

Swamp white oak is a native deciduous tree that reaches heights of 50 to
70 feet (15-20 m) and diameters of 2 to 3 feet (0.6-1 m) [31]. It has a
limby bole and an open, irregularly shaped crown. Its bark is flakey
and grey. Its leaves resemble those of chestnut (Castanea spp.); they
are shallowly lobed with serrate margins [22]. The fruit is an acorn
0.75 to 1.25 inches (2-3 cm) long. A mossy-like fringed cup covers from
one-third to one-half of the acorn [10]. Acorns are one seeded (rarely
two) and form singly or in clusters [25].
  • 10. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]
  • 22. Muth, Gilbert Jerome. 1980. Quercus saderiana R. Br. Campst., its distribution, ecology, and relationships to other oaks. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 75-80. [7017]
  • 25. Olson, David F., Jr. 1974. Quercus L. oak. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 692-703. [7737]
  • 31. Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa State College Press. 371 p. [1913]

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Description

Tree, 15 - 30 m tall, trunk 0.66 - 1 m in diameter. Form oval and open. Bark reddish brown and peeling when young, becoming grayish brown and deeply fissured with flattened ridges. Twigs changing from shiny green and reddish brown to peeling and dark brown. Buds light to dark brown, 2 - 4 mm long, egg-shaped to almost spherical with a rounded tip. Each terminal bud is surrounded by a cluster of lateral buds. Leaves alternate, short-stalked, shiny dark green above, pale green to silvery white and hairy beneath, 12 - 18 cm long, 5 - 12 cm wide, inversely egg-shaped with a wedge-shaped base, coarsely round-toothed or shallowly lobed. Foliage turns yellowish brown to orange in fall. Flowers either male or female, found on the same plant (monoecious). Male flowers are borne in hanging catkins, yellowish green, and 7 - 10 cm long, while female flowers are borne in small clusters near leaf axils. Fruit an acorn, developing in one season, usually in pairs, sometimes solitary, with a 2.5 - 10 cm long stalk. The bowl-shaped cup covers one-quarter to half of the nut and has scales that are thicker near the base with a lightly fringed margin. Nut light brown, 2 - 3 cm long and oblong to almost cylindrical.

[adapted from vPlants.org]

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Source: Oaks of the Americas

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Description

Trees , deciduous, to 30 m. Bark dark gray, scaly or flat-ridged. Twigs light brown or tan, 2-3(-4) mm diam., glabrous. Buds light or dark brown, globose to ovoid, 2-3 mm, glabrous. Leaves: petiole (4-)10-25(-30) mm. Leaf blade obovate to narrowly elliptic or narrowly obovate, (79-)120-180(-215) × (40-)70-110(-160) mm, base narrowly cuneate to acute, margins regularly toothed, or entire with teeth in distal 1/2 only, or moderately to deeply lobed, or sometimes lobed proximally and toothed distally, secondary veins arched, divergent, (3-)5-7 on each side, apex broadly rounded or ovate; surfaces abaxially light green or whitish, with minute, flat, appressed-stellate hairs and erect, 1-4-rayed hairs, velvety to touch, adaxially dark green, glossy, glabrous. Acorns 1-3(-5) mm, on thin axillary peduncle (20-)40-70 mm; cup hemispheric or turbinate, 10-15 mm deep × 15-25 mm wide, enclosing 1/2-3/4 nut, scales closely appressed, finely grayish tomentose, those near rim of cup often with short, stout, irregularly recurved and sometimes branched, spinose awns emerging from tubercle; nut light brown, ovoid-ellipsoid or oblong, (12-)15-21(-25) × 9-18 mm, glabrous. Cotyledons distinct. 2 n = 24.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Quercus bicolor var. angustifolia Dippel; Q. bicolor var. cuneiformis Dippel; Q. bicolor var. platanoides A. de Candolle; Q. platanoides (Lamarck) Sudworth
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Type Information

Holotype for Quercus filiformis C.H. Mull.
Catalog Number: US 2086668
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. H. Muller
Year Collected: 1939
Locality: Sierra de La Madera., Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila, Mexico, North America
  • Holotype: Muller, C. H. 1942. Amer. Midl. Naturalist. 27: 473.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

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Look Alikes

Many oaks in the white oak group and Quercus robur have highly variable, similar leaves with rounded lobes. Quercus alba often has deeply lobed leaves, light gray bark usually with smooth patches, and an acorn cup covered with warty scales. Quercus lyrata has leaves that are inversely egg-shaped with irregular, rounded lobes, and an acorn cup that nearly covers the nut. Quercus macrocarpa has deeply lobed leaves that are inversely egg-shaped and hairy beneath, often corky-ridged twigs, and an acorn cup with long fringes along the margin. Quercus robur has very short-stalked leaves with ear-like lobes at the base, and a long-stalked acorn cup.

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Swamp White Oak is occasional in most areas of Illinois, except in the NW section of the state, where it is rare or absent (see Distribution Map). Habitats include floodplain woodlands, edges of swamps, borders of streams, sloughs, poorly drained upland flats, and edges of vernal pools in wooded areas. Swamp White Oak is found with miscellaneous deciduous trees in poorly drained areas, including Green Ash, American Elm, Red Maple, Silver Maple, American Sycamore, Eastern Cottonwood, Pin Oak, Bur Oak, Shellbark Hickory, Sweet Gum, Black Gum, and Black Willow. Sometimes Swamp White Oak is cultivated as a landscape tree in parks and residential areas.
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Habitat characteristics

More info for the term: swamp

Swamp white oak occurs in river bottomlands, depressions, along
streamsides, swamp borders, and on moist peaty flats [10,20]. It is a
minor component in tamarack (Larix laricina) swamps of southwestern
Michigan [16]. Along the Ohio shores of Lake Erie, swamp white oak
grows in Toledo soil, a very poorly drained, silty clay. It also grows
on Nappanee soils, which are somewhat poorly drained silt loams [13].
Along the Kankakee River on the Illinois and Indiana border, swamp white
oak is a major overstory component of the floodplain forest. Here the
soils are highly permeable, frequently flooded sandy loams [21]. In
Quebec, swamp white oak occurs on sandy and loamy sand alluvium between
68 and 87 feet (22.6 and 28.9 m) in elevation [30].

Plant associates include pin oak (Quercus palustris), northern red oak
(Q. rubra), hickory (Carya spp.), beech (Fagus spp.), sweetgum
(Liquidambar styraciflua), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), red
maple (Acer rubrum), silver maple (A. saccharinum), green ash (Fraxinus
pennsylvanicum), tamarack, dogwood (Cornus spp.), sumac (Rhus spp.),
serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), grape (Vitis spp.), holly (Ilex spp.),
and viburnum (Viburnum spp.) [3,5,9,12,30].
  • 10. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]
  • 5. Braun, E. Lucy. 1936. Forests of the Illinoian till plain of southwestern Ohio. Ecological Monographs. 6(1): 91-149. [8379]
  • 3. Barnes, William J.; Dibble, Eric. 1988. The effects of beaver in riverbank forest succession. Canadian Journal of Botany. 66: 40-44. [2762]
  • 9. Faber-Langendoen, Don; Maycock, Paul F. 1989. Community patterns and environmental gradients of buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis, ponds in lowland forests of southern Ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 103(4): 479-485. [13458]
  • 12. Gorman, Owen T.; Roth, Roland R. 1989. Consequences of a temporally and spatially variable food supply for an unexploited gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) population. American Midland Naturalist. 121(1): 41-60. [13302]
  • 13. Hamilton, Ernest S.; Limbird, Arthur. 1982. Selective occurrence of arborescent species on soils in a drainage toposequence, Ottawa County, Ohio. Ohio Journal of Science. 82(5): 282-292. [4343]
  • 16. Kron, Kathleen A. 1989. The vegetation of Indian Bowl wet prairie and its adjacent plant communities. I. Description of the vegetation. Michigan Botanist. 28(4): 179-200. [17358]
  • 20. McCarthy, Joseph J.; Dawson, Jeffrey O. 1991. Effects of drought and shade on growth and water use of Quercus alba, Q. bicolor, Q. imbricaria and Q. palustris seedlings. In: McCormick, Larry H.; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds. Proceedings, 8th central hardwood forest conference; 1991 March 4-6; University Park, PA. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 157-178. [15309]
  • 21. Mitsch, William J.; Rust, William G. 1984. Tree growth responses to flooding in a bottomland forest in northeastern Illinois. Forest Science. 30(2): 499-510. [5011]
  • 30. Vincent, Gilles; Bergeron, Yves; Meilleur, Alain. 1986. Plant community pattern analysis: a cartographic approach applied in the Lac des Deux-Montagnes area (Quebec). Canadian Journal of Botany. 64: 326-335. [16948]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K098 Northern floodplain forest
K099 Maple - basswood forest
K100 Oak - hickory forest
K101 Elm - ash forest
K102 Beech - maple forest
K103 Mixed mesophytic forest
K106 Northern hardwoods

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood
FRES18 Maple - beech - birch
FRES19 Aspen - birch

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

26 Sugar maple - basswood
14 Northern pin oak
38 Tamarack
39 Black ash - American elm - red maple
52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak
53 White oak
59 Yellow poplar - white oak - northern red oak
60 Beech - sugar maple
62 Silver maple - American elm
64 Sassafras - persimmon
65 Pin oak - sweet gum
92 Sweetgum - willow oak
94 Sycamore - sweetgum - American elm
108 Red maple

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Soils and Topography

Throughout its range, swamp white oak is typically found on  hydromorphic soils. These may be mineral soils that are  imperfectly to poorly drained, as evidenced by high water tables  and the presence of glei subsurface layers, or both; organic  soils ranging from mucks (well decomposed) to peats (poorly  decomposed) in which high water levels have favored organic  accumulation; or alluvial soils underlain by a glei layer. These  kinds of soils are associated with lands that are periodically  inundated, such as broad stream valleys, low-lying fields, and  the margins of lakes, ponds, or sloughs. Swamp white oak is not  found where flooding is permanent (2,4,5,6,8). In general, the  soils on which this oak most commonly is found are in the orders  Entisols and Inceptisols.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Robert Rogers

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Climate

Within the range of swamp white oak, mean annual temperatures vary  from 16° C (60° F) in Arkansas to 4° C (40°  F) in southern Ontario. Extremes in temperature vary from 41°  C (105° F) to -34° C (-30° F). Average annual  precipitation is from 640 mm (25 in) in southeast Minnesota to  1270 mm (50 in) in northeast Arkansas. The frost-free period  ranges from 210 days in the southern part of the growing area to  120 days in the northern part (4).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Robert Rogers

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Low swamp forests, moist slopes, poorly drained uplands; 0-1000m.
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Locally common in lowlands, moist woods, floodplains, near swamps, and in poorly drained uplands.

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Dispersal

Establishment

Adaptation: Swamp white oak occurs in a variety of soils (from silty clay to silt and sandy loams) in swamp forests of river bottoms, streamsides, depressions, borders of ponds, lakes and swamps, and moist peaty flats. It also occurs on moist slopes and poorly drained uplands, at elevations of 0-1000 meters. Swamp white oak grows best in full sun in moist to wet, deep, acidic soils. Development of a 2-layer root system allows it to grow well in areas that are flooded in spring but markedly dry in summer.

Young trees of swamp white oak are tolerant of light shade but become more characteristic of full sun with maturity. Swamp white oak usually is a minor component of the forests in which it occurs, perhaps depending on local disturbance for release into the canopy. Stands of elm-ash-cottonwood will convert to oak-dominated stands that include swamp white oak. White oak forests (of which swamp white oak is a component) will progress towards hickory and beech forests if undisturbed.

Flowering occurs in May–June, during early development of the leaves, while fruiting occurs in August–October.

General: Seed production in swamp white oak begins at 20–30 years. The greatest production occurs between 75–100 years; good seed crops are produced every 3–5 years. The acorns have no dormancy and may germinate the same season as ripening and falling. The maximum age for trees of swamp white oak is 300–350 years.

Swamp white oak can sprout from the stump or root crown if damaged or top-killed.

Swamp white oak can be transplanted or propagated from seed. Young plants from containers and young trees in ball-and-burlap are best planted in early spring. Bare-root transplants also are best done in the spring, but these may be difficult because of the strong and rapid development of the taproot.

Acorns are capable of germination as soon as ripe and must be collected for storage shortly after falling from the tree. They retain viability in storage for only a few months, especially if allowed to dry, and should be stored over winter in a cool, moist place at 1–4 C. Germination frequency may be enhanced by stratifying 30–60 days at 1–5 C., but stratification is not required for germination. Acorns planted in the fall in permanent positions give the best results.

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The value of Swamp White Oak and other oaks (Quercus spp.) to wildlife is high. The following leafhoppers prefer Swamp White Oak as a host plant
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Associated Forest Cover

Swamp white oak is a consistent though mostly a minor component of  hydromesophytic forest communities in which other species usually  dominate. Tree species that commonly grow in association with  swamp white oak are pin oak (Quercus palustris), sweetgum  (Liquidambar styraciflua), red maple (Acer rubrum),  silver maple (A. saccharinum), American elm  (Ulmus americana), eastern cottonwood (Populus  deltoides), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), green  ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), bur oak Quercus  macrocarpa), shellbark and shagbark hickory (Carya  laciniosa and C. ovata), blackgum (Nyssa  sylvatica), black willow (Salix nigra), and American  basswood (Tilia americana) (3,4,6).

    Swamp white oak occurs in four forest cover types: Black  Ash-American Elm-Red Maple (Society of American Foresters Type  39), Bur Oak (Type 42), Silver Maple-American Elm (Type 62), and  Pin Oak-Sweetgum (Type 65). It is usually found singly in these  types but occasionally may be abundant in small areas (6).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Windthrow may be a problem especially in  recently thinned stands.

    Disease and insects affecting swamp white oak are essentially the  same as those found on white oak. Oak anthracnose can be damaging  to individual trees but is generally not fatal. Swamp white oak  is susceptible to the oak wilt fungus (Ceratocystis  fagacearum) and in Illinois Phomopsis canker and Coniothyrium  dieback were found on this oak. In addition, an Alternaria  fungus was found on blighted petioles (4,7).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: basal area, litter

Fire can reduce litter depth, allowing oak seedlings to become
established [32]. Fire can also reduce stocking rates of other species,
allowing oak species to increase in basal area. Fire can induce
vigorous sprouting from older root stock, which may be a preferred
reproductive method [32].
  • 32. Rouse, Cary. 1986. Fire effects in northeastern forests: oak. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-105. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [3884]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

More info for the terms: fuel, prescribed burn, swamp

A prescribed burn on an Indiana savannah did not kill swamp white oak
saplings and larger trees [1]. However, trees did not sprout following
the burn. Average fuel loads were 560 g/sq m before the fire and from
400 to 650 g/sq m 1 year after the fire.

Fires during the dormant season are less damaging to oaks because of
lowered ambient temperatures and the tree's physiological state [32].
Crooked trees may be killed more easily than straight trees if the
crooked trees are leaning towards the flames. Overstocked stands may
suffer more damage from fire due to reduced vigor and size of
individuals [32]. Fire appears to affect acorn crops only in that,
dying trees tend to produce a massive crop. Acorns themselves are
easily destroyed by fire because of high moisture content [32].
  • 1. Apfelbaum, Steven I.; Haney, Alan W. 1990. Management of degraded oak savanna remnants in the upper Midwest: preliminary results from three years of study. In: Hughes, H. Glenn; Bonnicksen, Thomas M., eds. Restoration `89: the new management challenge: Proceedings, 1st annual meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration; 1989 January 16-20; Oakland, CA. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Society for Ecological Restoration: 280-291. [14705]
  • 32. Rouse, Cary. 1986. Fire effects in northeastern forests: oak. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-105. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [3884]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the terms: swamp, top-kill

Severe fires can top-kill swamp white oak [33]. Moderate fires may kill
seedlings and saplings, but older trees usually survive. Fire-damaged
surviving trees are susceptible to disease and insect attack.
  • 33. Sander, Ivan L.; Rosen, Howard N. 1985. Oak: An American wood. FS-247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 11 p. [18167]

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Post-fire Regeneration

off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2
survivor species; on-site surviving root crown

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: tree

All oaks can resprout from stems when top-killed by fire. The ability
to sprout decreases with an increase in age and tree size [33]. Many
seedlings develop an "S"-shaped crook in their stems, which protects
dormant buds from fire heat and enables seedlings to sprout [32]. With
repeated fire stems become calloused. This tissue is filled with
dormant buds that resprout.
  • 32. Rouse, Cary. 1986. Fire effects in northeastern forests: oak. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-105. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [3884]
  • 33. Sander, Ivan L.; Rosen, Howard N. 1985. Oak: An American wood. FS-247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 11 p. [18167]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: swamp, tree

Swamp white oak is intermediate in shade tolerance but not very drought
tolerant [20]. It is a dominant tree in wetlands on infertile to
fertile soils of oak ecosystems in southeastern Michigan [2]. Without
disturbance elm (Ulmus americana)-ash (Fraxinus spp.)-cottonwood
(Populus spp.) types will convert to oak-dominated types that include
swamp white oak [23]. White oak (Quercus alba) forests of southern Ohio
(of which swamp white oak is a component) will progress towards hickory
and beech forests if undisturbed [5].
  • 23. Myers, Charles C.; Buchman, Roland G. 1984. Manager's handbook for elm-ash-cottonwood in the North Central States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-98. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 11 p. [8919]
  • 5. Braun, E. Lucy. 1936. Forests of the Illinoian till plain of southwestern Ohio. Ecological Monographs. 6(1): 91-149. [8379]
  • 2. Archambault, Louis; Barnes, Burton V.; Witter, John A. 1989. Ecological species groups of oak ecosystems of southeastern Michigan. Forest Science. 35(4): 1058-1074. [9768]
  • 20. McCarthy, Joseph J.; Dawson, Jeffrey O. 1991. Effects of drought and shade on growth and water use of Quercus alba, Q. bicolor, Q. imbricaria and Q. palustris seedlings. In: McCormick, Larry H.; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds. Proceedings, 8th central hardwood forest conference; 1991 March 4-6; University Park, PA. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 157-178. [15309]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: swamp

Sexual: Swamp white oak reproduces by seed, which mature in 1 year
[31]. Good seed crops are produced every 4 to 7 years, but many acorns
are infested by insects [33]. Acorns must be collected shortly afer
falling to prevent early germination. Viability can be tested by
dumping acorns into water. Those that float are not viable. Acorns
cannot be stored for more than a few months. Cleaned seed averages 120
per pound (108/kg). One hundred pounds of fruit will average between 60
and 75 pounds (54-67.5/kg) of seed [25]. Seedlings grow slowly at less
than 6 inches (15 cm) per year [33].

Vegetative: Swamp white oak can sprout from its trunk [33].
  • 25. Olson, David F., Jr. 1974. Quercus L. oak. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 692-703. [7737]
  • 31. Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa State College Press. 371 p. [1913]
  • 33. Sander, Ivan L.; Rosen, Howard N. 1985. Oak: An American wood. FS-247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 11 p. [18167]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte: Mesophanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Plant Response to Fire

Swamp white oak stems can resprout following fire. Sprouts can grow as
much as 3 to 6 feet (1-3 m) per year for the first 2 to 3 postfire years
[33].
  • 33. Sander, Ivan L.; Rosen, Howard N. 1985. Oak: An American wood. FS-247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 11 p. [18167]

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Reaction to Competition

The tree is classed as  intermediate in tolerance to shade, and seedlings become  established under moderate shade. Lowland forests in which swamp  white oak grows are characterized by instability and successional  uncertainty because of the variable effects of flooding, together  with the presence of saturated soils. Swamp white oak may achieve  dominance on the better drained lowland soils together with  basswood, northern red oak (Quercus rubra), American  beech (Fagus grandifolia), and sugar maple (Acer  saccharum) (8). Once established, it is able to compete  effectively with American elm, green ash, and black willow.  Limited current evidence indicates clearcutting to be an adequate  silvicultural system, particularly on the better sites (2,8).

    In forest stands swamp white oak has a straight bole with  ascending branches and a narrow crown. However, open-grown trees  are generally poorly formed and often have persistent lower  branches (4).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Rooting Habit

No information available.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Swamp white oak acorns ripen from August through December [25].
  • 25. Olson, David F., Jr. 1974. Quercus L. oak. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 692-703. [7737]

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Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering in spring.
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Life Cycle

Flowers May.

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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Like most oaks, swamp white oak  produces seedling sprouts or stump sprouts when the top is cut or  killed. The frequency of sprouting declines, however, with  increasing d.b.h. (8):

   

    D.b.h.  classes    Stumps  likely to sprout            cm  in    percent    15 to 27  6 to 10    75    27 to 39  11 to 15    30    39 to 52  16 to 20    10    52+  20+    5       

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seedling Development

Germination is hypogeal (10). After  acorns germinate in the fall, roots continue to develop until  growth is limited by low temperatures. Seedling establishment and  early growth seem to be favored on the better drained lowland  soils rather than on sites that are poorly drained or subjected  to persistent flooding. In any case, adequate moisture and light  are necessary for successful early development (4,8).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seed Production and Dissemination

Good crops of swamp  white oak occur every 3 to 5 years, with light crops during  intervening years. The minimum seed-bearing age is 20 years,  optimum age is 75 to 200 years, and maximum age is usually 300  years. Because the seed of swamp white oak is not dormant, it  germinates soon after falling. Seed collections should be made  soon after ripening in order to delay early germination. These  acorns are difficult to store without germination or loss of  viability occurring. Sound acorns have a germinative capacity  between 78 and 98 percent. Gravity, rodents, and water are the  primary dispersing agents (4,10).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Flowering and Fruiting

Swamp white oak is monoecious;  male and female flowers appear on the same tree in the spring at  about the time leaves are one-third developed (May to June). The  fruit, an acorn, matures in 1 year and is generally paired and  home on slender stalks from 3 to 8 cm (1.25 to 3.25 in) long. The  ovoid acorns, each 19 to 32 mm (0.75 to 1.25 in) long and 13 to  19 min (0.5 to 0.75 in) in diameter, fall during September and   October.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Growth

Growth and Yield

On the better drained lowland soils, the  growth rate of swamp white oak is comparable to that of white  oak. The root system is usually shallow, but the tree is  relatively long lived-up to 300 years or more. Normally it is a  mediumsized tree, 18 to 23 in (60 to 75 ft) in height and 61 to  91 cm (24 to 36 in) d.b.h., although trees up to 30 in (100 ft)  tall and 213 cm (84 in) d.b.h. have been reported.

    Swamp white oak normally grows in mixtures with other bottom-land  species and is abundant only locally. Individual old growth trees  may contain as much net volume as 3.4 m³ (600 fbm) but this  is uncommon (4).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Two forms of swamp white oak have been described: a mesophytic  form with leaves that are green and velvety on the lower surface  and a more xerophytic form with leaves that are white-tomentulose  beneath. The following six hybrids with swamp white oak are  recognized: Quercus x jackiana Schneid. (Q. bicolor x  alba); Q. x humidicola Palmer (Q. bicolor x lyrata); Q. x  schuettei Trel. (Q. bicolor x macrocarpa) (1); Q. x  introgressa P. M. Thomson (Q. bicolor x  muehlenbergii x prinoides) (11); Q. x substellata Trel. (Q.  bicolor x stellata); Q. x nessiana Palmer (Q. bicolor x  virginiana). Swamp white oak also hybridizes with chestnut  oak Quercus prinus) and English oak (Q. robur).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Quercus bicolor naturally hybridizes with Q. macrocarpa (Q. x schuettei).

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Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Quercus bicolor

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as state noxious status and wetland indicator values.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center and the Biota of North America Program

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Management

Management considerations

Swamp white oak is a component of forested wetlands, many of which are
being converted to agricultural lands and subdivisions [7]. Oaks are
susceptible to many insect pests, fungi, cankers, and wilts. Refer to
Solomon and others [34] for information on how to recognize and control
these diseases [34]. Oak species can suffer from what is known as "oak
decline." This is when trees die or limbs die back due to environmental
stresses [35].
  • 7. Ernst, John P.; Brown, Valerie. 1989. Conserving endangered species on southern forested wetlands. In: Hook, Donal D.; Lea, Russ, eds. The forested wetlands of the southern United States: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 July 12-14; Orlando, FL. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-50. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 135-145. [9232]
  • 34. Solomon, J. D.; McCracken, F. I.; Anderson, R. L.; [and others]
  • 35. Wargo, Philip M.; Houston, David R.; LaMadeleine, Leon A. 1983. Oak decline. Forest Insect and Disease Leaflet 165. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 8 p. [18166]

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Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

These plant materials are readily available from commercial sources. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”

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Swamp white oak is susceptible to various insect pests, fungi, cankers, and wilts but none are serious. It is relatively resistant to oak wilt but may be affected by "oak decline;" anthracnose may sometimes be a problem. Growth in alkaline soils (with pH above 7.2) may cause iron chlorosis.

Because of the slow self-pruning habit of swamp white oak, lower branches may require pruning in areas where high clearance is necessary.

Severe fires can top-kill mature trees of swamp white oak. Fire-damaged survivors are susceptible to disease and insect attack. Moderate fires may kill seedlings and saplings, but young individuals can re-sprout following fire. Acorns are easily destroyed by fire because of high moisture content.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full sun, wet to mesic conditions, and soil containing some combination of loam, clay, silt, or sand. Soil pH should be non-alkaline. Both compaction of the soil and temporary flooded conditions are tolerated. Individual trees can produce acorns in 20-30 years and they may live 300-350 years. Mature acorns will germinate shortly after they have been placed in moist ground.
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Nutritional Value

More info for the term: swamp

Percent oven-dry weight nutrient values for swamp white oak leaves are
as follows [4]:

nitrogen 2.02
potassium 1.20
phosphorous 0.26
calcium 1.07
magnesium 0.31
  • 4. Blinn, Charles R.; Buckner, Edward R. 1989. Normal foliar nutrient levels in North American forest trees: A summary. Station Bulletin 590-1989. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. 27 p. [15282]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Swamp white oak acorns are an important food for wildlife such as
squirrels, white-tailed deer, beaver, black bear, and a variety of birds
[3,12,24]. It provides cover for birds and mammals [6].
  • 3. Barnes, William J.; Dibble, Eric. 1988. The effects of beaver in riverbank forest succession. Canadian Journal of Botany. 66: 40-44. [2762]
  • 6. Burns, Teresa L.; Dahlgren, Robert B. 1983. Breeding bird use of flooded dead trees in Rathbun Reservoir, Iowa. In: Davis, Jerry W.; Goodwin, Gregory A.; Ockenfeis, Richard A., technical coordinators. Snag habitat management: proceedings of the symposium; 1983 June 7-9; Flagstaff, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-99. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 99-101. [17821]
  • 12. Gorman, Owen T.; Roth, Roland R. 1989. Consequences of a temporally and spatially variable food supply for an unexploited gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) population. American Midland Naturalist. 121(1): 41-60. [13302]
  • 24. Nixon, Charles M.; McClain, Milford W.; Russell, Kenneth R. 1970. Deer food habits and range characteristics in Ohio. Journal of Wildlife Management. 34(4): 870-886. [16398]

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Wood Products Value

More info for the terms: hardwood, swamp

Oak species account for one-third of the hardwood sawtimber volume in
the United States [34]. Swamp white oak is a heavy, hard wood that
machines well, but it can check and warp if not dried properly. It is
used for furniture, flooring, boxes, crates, barrels, kegs, ships and
boats [27].
  • 34. Solomon, J. D.; McCracken, F. I.; Anderson, R. L.; [and others]
  • 27. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1956. Wood...colors and kinds. Agric. Handb. 101. Washington, DC. 36 p. [16294]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

Swamp white oak is planted on highway rights-of-way [15].
  • 15. Harrington, John A. 1989. Major prairie planting on highway corridor to test methods, value of resulting vegetation (Wisconsin). Restoration and Management Notes. 7(1): 31-32. [8069]

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Special Uses

The acorns are sweet, like others in the white oak group, and are  eaten by squirrels and other rodents (9). In a study in  Wisconsin, swamp white oak acorns were found to make up 27  percent of the diet of wild ducks. Several nongame bird species  include these acorns in their diet (4).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Robert Rogers

Source: Silvics of North America

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Uses

Industry: The wood of swamp white oak is light brown, close-grained, heavy, and hard. It is similar to that of white oak (Q. alba) and usually is cut and sold under that name, but the amount of lumbered swamp white oak is a small fraction of the total for ‘white oak.’ Also, because the lateral branches of swamp white oak tend to persist (compared to white oak), the wood is knottier and less valuable. The wood is used for furniture, cabinets, veneers, interior finishing, and flooring, as well as for boxes, crates, fence posts, railroad ties, and beams and boards for general construction. As in white oak, the wood provides tight cooperage and was once widely used in making barrels and kegs.

Conservation: Swamp white oak is planted on highway rights-of-way and is frequently used as a shade tree for large lawns, golf courses, parks, and naturalized areas. The crown shape and bi-colored leaves (dark above, lighter beneath) are attractive features; fall color is yellow, with occasional red-purple. The trees can grow well in areas that are dry, poorly drained and wet, or even occasionally flooded, and they will tolerate significant soil compaction.

Wildlife: Trees of swamp white oak provide cover for birds and mammals. The acorns are sweet and are an important food for wildlife such as squirrels, mice, white-tailed deer, beaver, black bear, and a variety of birds, including ducks and turkey.

Ethnobotanic: Native Americans and pioneers have eaten the acorns raw or cooked. They have been ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. Roasted acorns have been ground and used as a coffee substitute. Bitterness of the tannins is removed by leaching in running water.

Oak galls, caused by the activity of the larvae of various insects, can be used as a source of tannin and dye. They also are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of hemorrhages, chronic diarrhea, and dysentery. Some Native Americans used swamp white oak to treat cholera, broken bones, and consumption. Mulch of the dead leaves is reported to repel slugs, grubs, and various insects.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center and the Biota of North America Program

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Wikipedia

Quercus bicolor


Quercus bicolor, the swamp white oak, is a medium-sized tree of America's north central and northeastern mixed forests. It has a very large range, and can survive in a variety of habitats. It grows rapidly and can reach 300 to 350 years. It is not a large tree, typically growing to 20-25m (65–80 ft) tall, with the tallest known reaching 29 m (95 ft).[2]

It forms hybrids with Bur Oak where they occur together in the wild.

Swamp White Oak leaves

Description[edit]

The bark resembles the White Oak. The leaves are broad ovoid, 12–18 cm (4–7 in) long and 7-11 (3–4 in) cm broad, always more or less glaucous on the underside, and are shallowly lobed with five to seven lobes on each side, intermediate between the Chestnut Oak and the White Oak. In autumn, they turn brown, yellow-brown, or sometimes reddish, but generally, the color is not as reliable or as brilliant as the White Oak can be. The fruit is a peduncled acorn, 1.5–2 cm (rarely 2.5 cm) (.6-.8 in, rarely 1 in) long and 1–2 cm (.4-.8 in) broad, maturing about 6 months after pollination.

Habitat[edit]

The swamp white oak generally occurs singly in four different forest types: Black Ash-American Elm-Red Maple, Silver Maple-American Elm, Bur Oak, and Pin Oak-Sweetgum. Occasionally the swamp white oak is abundant in small areas. It is found within a very wide range of mean annual temperatures from 16°C (60°F) to 4°C (40°F). Extremes in temperature vary from 41°C (105°F) to -34°C (-30°F). Average annual precipitation is from 640 mm (25 in) to 1270 mm (50 in). The frost-free period ranges from 210 days in the southern part of the growing area to 120 days in the northern part. The swamp white oak typically grows on hydromorphic soils. It is not found where flooding is permanent, although it is usually found in broad stream valleys, low-lying fields, and the margins of lakes, ponds, or sloughs.

Range[edit]

Range Map of Quercus bicolor from 1971

Swamp white oak, a lowland tree, grows from southwestern Maine west to New York, southern Quebec, and southern Ontario, to central Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and southeastern Minnesota; south to Iowa and Missouri; east to Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and New Jersey. It is scattered in North Carolina and northeastern Kansas. This species is most common and reaches its largest size in western New York and northern Ohio.[3]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

It is one of the more important white oaks for lumber production. In recent years, the swamp white oak has become a popular landscaping tree, partly due to its relative ease of transplanting. The New York Times has reported that over 400 Swamp White Oak trees are being planted in the newly constructed September 11 Memorial Plaza in Manhattan.

Being in the White Oak family, wildlife such as deer, ducks, and geese, as well as other animals are attracted to this tree when acorns are dropping in the fall.

Cultivars[edit]

Quercus robur fastigiata x Quercus bicolor 'Nadler' Kindred Spirit Hybrid Oak

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tropicos, Quercus bicolor
  2. ^ Muhlenberg, Ges. Naturf. Freunde Berlin Neue Schriften. 3: 396. 1801.
  3. ^ “Swamp White Oak” US Forest Service. Retrieved on 14 December 2009.

Notes[edit]

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Notes

Comments

Putative hybrids between Quercus bicolor and Q . macrocarpa are common in areas of contact. The hybrids tend to have more deeply lobed leaves and varying degrees of development of awns as a fringe along the margin of the acorn cup. Such characteristics occur sporadically throughout many populations of Q . bicolor ; in some cases they may occur because of subtle introgression. 

 The Iroquois used Quercus bicolor in the treatment of cholera, broken bones, consumption, and as a witchcraft medicine (D. E. Moerman 1986).

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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

More info for the term: swamp

The currently accepted scientific name of swamp white oak is Quercus
bicolor Willd. (Fagaceae) [10]. There are no recognized varieties or
forms. Swamp white oak hybridizes with the following [10,14]:

Q. alba (Q. X jackiana Schneider)
Q. stellata (Q. X substellata Trel.)
Q. lyrata (Q. X humidicola E.J. Palmer)
Q. macrocarpa (Q. X Hillii Trel.)

Q. X introgressa is a hybrid cross formed with another hybrid parent
[28]. Q. meuhlenbergii is introgressed by Q. prinoides and Q. bicolor.
For more information on swamp white oak hybrids see Little [36].
  • 10. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]
  • 36. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952]
  • 14. Hardin, James W. 1975. Hybridization and introgression in Quercus alba. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. 56: 336-363. [10553]
  • 28. Thomson, Paul M. 1977. Quercus X introgressa, a new hybrid oak. Rhodora. 79: 453-464. [10372]

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Common Names

swamp white oak

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