Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)

This tree is usually 60-80′ tall at maturity, creating a straight
trunk about 2-3½’ throughout and an ovoid to obovoid crown. In open sunny
areas, the trunk is shorter and the crown is extra broad, whereas in
forested areas the trunk is longer and the crown is extra slender.
Relying on the maturity of a tree, trunk bark is brown, gray-brown,
or grey, rough-textured, and creating both irregular furrows with
flat ridges or giant flaky scales. Department bark is much like trunk
bark, however extra clean, whereas the graceful twigs are brown or
grey, clean, and lined with scattered white lenticels.
Alternate leaves about 4-7″ lengthy and 2½-4½” throughout happen alongside the
twigs and younger shoots. They’re often obovate (much less typically broadly
elliptic) with 4-Eight pairs of lobes alongside their margins. These lobes are
shallow to reasonably deep and they’re both rounded or taper to
blunt ideas. The sinuses between the lobes are concave or bluntly cleft.
The higher leaf floor is medium to darkish inexperienced and glabrous,
whereas the decrease floor is whitish inexperienced to white and densely lined
with brief white hairs which might be stellate and fine-textured. The leaf
texture is moderately leathery and stiff. The petioles are ½-1″ lengthy, gentle
inexperienced or gentle yellow, and both glabrous or short-pubescent.

White Oak is monoecious, producing separate male (staminate) and feminine
(pistillate) flowers on the identical tree. The male flowers are produced
alongside drooping catkins about 2-4″ lengthy; the male flowers are sparsely
distributed alongside these catkins in small clusters. Every male flower
(about 1/8″ or three mm. in size) consists of a number of stamens which might be
inside furry floral bracts. The feminine flowers are produced from
the axils of leaves in clusters of 2-4. Every feminine flower (about 1/8″
or three mm. in size) consists of an ovary with often three stigmata; it’s
embedded inside an involucre consisting of furry floral scales.
The blooming interval happens from mid- to late-spring and lasts about 1-2
weeks. The flowers are cross-pollinated by wind. Afterwards, fertile
feminine flowers become acorns that grow to be ¾-1″ lengthy and ½-¾”
throughout at maturity in the course of the autumn of the identical yr. Often, solely
1-2 acorns develop close to the tip of an extended peduncle about ½-4″ lengthy,
whereas the pedicel of every acorn may be very brief (lower than 1/8″ or three mm.
The cup of a mature acorn is tan-colored or gentle grey, whereas its physique
is brown; the cup extends to about one-third of the size of an
acorn. The scales of the cup are considerably recurved and pointed,
moderately than appressed collectively. The white acorn meat is mildly bitter.
The woody root system is shallow to reasonably deep and extensively
spreading. Throughout the autumn, the deciduous leaves grow to be brownish
yellow, generally with patches of orange and crimson.


The choice is full solar, moist to mesic situations, and soil
containing some mixture of loam, clay, silt, or sand. Soil pH
needs to be non-alkaline. Each compaction of the soil and momentary
flooded situations are tolerated. Particular person bushes can produce acorns
in 20-30 years they usually could dwell 300-350 years. Mature acorns will
germinate shortly after they’ve been positioned in moist floor.

& Habitat:
The native Swamp White Oak is
occasional in most areas
of Illinois, besides within the NW part of the state, the place it’s uncommon or
absent (see Distribution
Map). Habitats embrace floodplain woodlands,
edges of swamps, borders of streams, sloughs, poorly drained
upland flats, and edges of vernal swimming pools in wooded areas.
Swamp White Oak is discovered with miscellaneous deciduous bushes in poorly
drained areas, together with Inexperienced Ash, American Elm, Pink Maple,
Silver Maple, American Sycamore, Jap Cottonwood, Pin Oak, Bur Oak,
Shellbark Hickory, Candy Gum, Black Gum, and Black Willow.
Typically Swamp White Oak is cultivated as a panorama tree in parks
and residential areas.

Faunal Associations:
The worth of Swamp
White Oak and different oaks (Quercus
) to wildlife is excessive. The
following leafhoppers desire Swamp White Oak as a bunch plant:
Eratoneura accola,
Eratoneura fergusoni,
and Eratoneura mirifica.
leafhoppers that feed on this tree embrace Eratoneura carmini,
Eratoneura externa,
and Eratoneura solita.
Different bugs feeders embrace the aphids Myzocallis
and Myzocallis
, and the treehoppers Atymna helena and Cyrtolobus
. The larvae of numerous beetles
bore via the
wooden or bark of this and different oaks. These species embrace Eucrada
(Anobiid Beetle sp.), Arrhenodes minuta
(Oak Timberworm),
Aneflomorpha subpubescens
(Oak Stem Borer), Goes
(Oak Department
Pruner), and Oberea
(Oak Sprout Pruner); see the Wooden-Boring Beetle
Desk for a extra full listing of those species. Different insect
embrace a number of leaf beetles (Metachroma
, Pachybrachis
and many others.), Brachys ovatus
(Oak Leaf Miner) and different Brachys
, larvae of the weevils Attelabus bipustulatus
, the plant bugs Ceratocapsus modestus
and Plagiognathus
, Corythucha
(Oak Lace Bug), and the larvae of
varied gall wasps (Cynipidae). The caterpillars of Hairstreak
butterflies, Duskywing skippers, and quite a few moths additionally feed on the
foliage and
different elements of oaks (see Lepidoptera Desk).
These varied bugs are a sexy
supply of meals for woodpeckers, warblers, flycatchers, and different
insectivorous birds. Acorns are an necessary supply of meals for a lot of
birds and mammals. Acorn-eating birds embrace the Wooden Duck, Wild
Turkey, Ruffed Grouse, Ring-Necked Pheasant, Monk Parakeet,
White-Breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, Frequent Grackle, Rusty Blackbird,
Brown Thrasher, Pink-Headed Woodpecker, and Pink-Bellied Woodpecker.
Acorns are additionally eaten by the Black Bear, Raccoon, White-Tailed Deer,
White-Footed Mouse, and varied tree squirrels. There may be even a file
of a turtle, Trionyx
(Spiny Softshell), consuming acorns (Ernst
et al., 1994).

Photographic Location:
Pictures of
the tree silhouette, tree trunk, and leafy twigs with acorns have been
taken by Paul Showers (Copyright © 2011) in NE Illinois. The {photograph}
of the leaf undersides was taken by John Hilty close to a stream at
Meadowbrook Park in Urbana, Illinois.

The place their ranges overlap, this oak generally hybridizes
with the Bur Oak (Quercus
) and Basket Oak (Quercus
) – all of those oaks desire bottomland habitats.
Swamp White
Oak will be distinguished from White Oak (Quercus alba) and
Bur Oak by
the extra shallow lobes of its leaves and their whitened undersides. It
differs from Basket Oak by having fewer lobes alongside the margins of its
leaves. Swamp White Oak will be distinguished from these and different oaks
by the lengthy peduncles (½-4″ in size) of its acorns. Different oaks have
shorter peduncles. The wooden of Swamp White Oak
is comparatively heavy, sturdy, gentle brown, fine-grained, and
rot resistant. It has been used within the building of furnishings,
cupboards, inside ending, flooring, barrels,
kegs, crates, boat hulls, rail ties, and fence
posts. In comparison with White Oak, nevertheless, its wooden tends to be
extra knotty from the persistence of decrease branches. Oak bushes are hosts
to many parasitic and symbiotic fungi. Examples of bracket fungi that
are discovered on standing or fallen trunks embrace Inonotus hispidus
(Shaggy Bracket), Daedalea
(Oak Mazegill), and Fistulina
(Beefsteak Fungus). As well as, Evernia prunastri (Oakmoss
Lichen) and different lichens are sometimes discovered on oak bushes.

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