What are some steps for white oak tree identification?


Quick Answer

To identify a white oak tree, inspect its leaves, bark and bud patterns. This procedure takes about five minutes. You need a measuring tape and knowledge of this species' distinguishing characteristics.

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Full Answer

  1. Inspect the leaves

    Inspect the placement, color and shape of the leaves. White oak leaves are 5 to 7 inches long and have seven to nine rounded lobes. The tops of the leaves are dull green, and the undersides are pale. They grow from reddish twigs, although some have a strong purple cast.

  2. Examine the buds

    Examine the buds carefully. White oak buds are brown or deep red ovals that grow in bunches on the branch tips.

  3. Inspect the bark

    Note the appearance of the bark. White oak bark is light grey and prone to cracks. Cracked bark is a hallmark of young white oaks, but the bark of older specimens usually has deep furrows that separate the bark into distinct rectangular tiles.

  4. Consider the height and width of the tree

    Estimate the width and height of the tree. Mature white oaks are between 40 to 70 feet wide. Some specimens reach a mature height of 100 feet, but most adult white oaks stand between 50 to 75 feet tall.

  5. Measure the trunk circumference

    Use a measuring tape to determine the circumference of the tree. The average white oak has a diameter of 3 to 4 feet, which means the average trunk circumference is 9 to 12 feet.

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