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Swamp White OakQuercus bicolor

  • White Oak - Quercus alba
As the name suggests, this oak is found growing wild in low-lying and swampy areas — often moist bottomlands or river banks. But it grows just as well in an urban or suburban setting, with tolerance to compacted soil and (perhaps surprisingly) drought.

The swamp white oak is a great choice for a shade or street tree, with the ability to grow at a moderate pace and live more than 300 years. It’s the kind of tree you plant for not only your enjoyment but for the benefit of generations to come.

Hardiness Zones

The swamp white oak can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–8. View Map

Tree Type

Mature Size

The swamp white oak grows to a height of 50–60' and a spread of 50–60' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The swamp white oak grows in in acidic, moist, well-drained, and wet soils. It is also drought-tolerant.


This tree:
  • Produces fall color in shades of yellow, bronze, and red-purple.
  • Features dark green deciduous leaves that are 3" to 7" long with a leathery texture.
  • Yields oblong acorns in pairs, each approximately 1" in length.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.
  • Is well-adapted to low-lying areas with poor drainage.
  • Tolerates compacted soil, drought, and some salt exposure.
  • Prefers acidic soil.
  • Can experience chlorosis (yellowing of leaves while the veins remain green) if the soil is not acidic enough.

Wildlife Value

This oak species attracts a variety of birds.


The species was introduced in 1800.