Quercus alba, the white oak, is one of the pre-eminent hardwoods of eastern and central North America.It is a long-lived oak, native to eastern and central North America and found from Minnesota, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia south as far as northern Florida and eastern Texas.
Trees growing in a forest will become much taller than ones in an open area which develop to be short and massive.
The tallest known white oak is 144 feet (44 m) tall.
It is not unusual for a white oak tree to be as wide as it is tall, but specimens growing at high altitudes may only become small shrubs.
White oak may live 200 to 300 years, with some even older specimens known.
The Wye Oak in Wye Mills, Maryland was estimated to be over 450 years old when it finally fell in a thunderstorm in 2002.
Another noted white oak is the Great White Oak in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, estimated to be over 600 years old.The tree measures 25 feet (7.6 m) in circumference at the base and 16 feet (4.9 m) in circumference four feet (1.2 m) above the ground.The tree is 75 feet (23 m) tall, and its branches spread over 125 feet (38 m) from tip to tip.Sexual maturity begins at around 20 years, but the tree does not produce large crops of acorns until its 50th year and the amount varies from year to year.Acorns deteriorate quickly after ripening, the germination rate being only 10% for six-month-old seeds.As the acorns are prime food for animals and insects, all may be lost in years of small crops.