Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Meet The "Swamp Water Oak" - Quercus bicolor
The Swamp White Oak - Quercus bicolor is an attractive deciduous shade tree. Even though it is named Swamp White Oak and is similar to the White Oaks, it is actually a member of the Chestnut Oak family. It has beautiful fall coloring that ranges from Orange, Gold and Yellow in mid-Autumn. With a broad open crown, rounded form and a short trunk it makes for a sturdy medium sized shade tree. It is considered one of the easiest Oaks to transplant and is tolerant to salt, drought, heat and poor drainage. It has good visual interest in Mid Winter, Early Summer and Fall.
Image Citation: T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
The leaves are lobed and have an almost two toned appearance, during the early growing season they are a dark green on top and a silvery white on the underside becoming green all over by the summer months. The leaves grow alternately and are coarsly toothed/lobed with variable margins. The bark is a pale grey with networks of thick course blackish grey ridges, becoming a dark grey when mature. The acorns are 1 inch long and enclosed in a warty cap, this cap often remains attached to the stalk once the fruit is ripe and falls from the tree.
Image Citations (Above Photos Left: Leaves & Right: Acorns) : Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
It is recommended for zones 4-8 and is available at limited nurseries in it's growth zone. Be wary of soils with high pH as this tree does show signs of chlorosis (yellowing) with high pH.