oblong, elliptic, obovate, ovate
brown, green, red, yellow
March - May
Whitish, shaggy bark, pith star-shaped in cross section, leaves with no bristles tips on lobes as seen in most red oak species, acorns large. Only totally hairless under leaves.
Bark is often good as roosting sites for some species of bats. Leaves do not have bristle tips as seen in most red oak species also acorns of white oaks tend to be “sweeter” than red oaks and are therefore preferred by many wildlife species.
Wood is preferred for making wine and whiskey barrels because of its tight cellular structure which resists leaking. All of the white oaks are heavy, very hard, and strong. The wood is subject to large shrinkage during seasoning, and extra care must be taken to avoid checking and warping. Pores of the heartwood are impervious to liquids, making white oak the only successful wood for use as tight cooperage. Large amounts of higher grades are used for bourbon barrels. The heartwood is comparatively decay resistant, more so than that of red oaks. White oaks are above average in all machining operations except shaping. All oaks in the white oak group share just about the same properties and uses. Most white oak is made into lumber for flooring, furniture, tight cooperage, millwork, timbers, handles, boxes, and crates. Perhaps the largest amounts go into high-quality flooring, barrels, kegs, and casks. It is prized for use of construction of ships and boats.