Swamp White Oak

Leaf detail with color


The swamp white oak is a grand tree that loves the water and thrives in swampy marshlands. Its size and strength make it perfect for shoring up riverbeds and providing cover for all sorts of wildlife.

More detail: Swamp White Oak’s Tree of the Month.

Common Name

Swamp white oak

Latin Name

Quercus bicolor


Broad ovoid*, with pale white underside, shallowly lobed with 5 to 7 lobes on each side


Male flowers are long yellow-green catkins*; females are green to red, very small


Acorn is tan, with a bowl-shaped cap that covers about a third of the nut


Moderately stout, light brown; terminal buds short, blunt and light brown


Gray and scaly, with irregular fissures and ridges developing as it ages


Irregular open crown


Can reach 65 to 80 feet tall, with the tallest known tree reaching 95 feet

Native Range

Ranges from southwestern Maine to west central Michigan and northern Wisconsin, south to Iowa and Missouri, east to Virginia and New Jersey


Medium deciduous shade tree

Seasonal Colors

Brown, yellow-brown and sometimes dull red in the fall


Prefers rich, deep, moist soils that are neutral or only slightly alkaline


Thrives in full sunlight or partial sunlight

Similar Species

Swamp chestnut oak, chestnut oak, chinkapin oak, bur oak

Pests and Diseases

Oak anthracnose is a problem but not a fatal issue. Swamp white oaks are vulnerable to oak wilt and can die if not treated.

Rebate Eligibility


Of Note

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.

Swamp white oak acorns were found to make up 27% of the diet of wild ducks.

Native Americans and early pioneers used powdered swamp white oak acorns as a thickening agent for stews and to make bread.

Photo Credits

Tie Guy II