Swamp White Oak

=Habitat and Range.=--In deep, rich soil; low, moist, fertile

grounds, bordering swamps and along streams.

Quebec to Ontario, where it is known as the blue oak.

Maine,--York county; New Hampshire,--Merrimac valley as far as the mouth

of the Souhegan, and probably throughout Rockingham county;

Vermont,--low grounds about Lake Champlain; Massachusetts,--frequent in

the western and central
sections, common eastward; Rhode Island and


South to Delaware and along the mountains to northern Georgia; west

to Minnesota, Iowa, east Kansas, and Arkansas.

=Habit.=--A medium-sized tree, 40-60 feet high, with a trunk diameter of

2-3 feet; attaining southward of the Great Lakes and in the Ohio basin

much greater dimensions; roughest of all the oaks, except the bur oak,

in general aspect; trunk erect, continuous, in young trees often beset

at point of branching with down-growing, scraggly branchlets, surmounted

by a rather regular pyramidal head, the lower branches horizontal or

declining, often descending to the ground, with a short, stiff,

abundant, and bushy spray; smaller twigs ridgy, widening beneath buds;

foliage a dark shining green; heads of large trees less regular, rather

open, with a general resemblance to the head of the white oak, but

narrower at the base, with less contorted limbs.

=Bark.=--Bark of trunk and larger branches thick, dark grayish-brown,

longitudinally striate, with flaky scales; bark of young stems,

branches, and branchlets darker, separating in loose scales which curl

back, giving the tree its shaggy aspect; season's shoots


=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds brown, roundish-ovate, obtuse. Leaves

simple, alternate, 3-8 inches long, 2-4 wide, downy on both sides when

unfolding, at maturity thick and firm, smooth and dark shining green

above, slightly to conspicuously whitish-downy beneath, in autumn

brownish-yellow; obovate, coarsely and deeply crenate or obtusely

shallow-lobed, when opening sometimes pointed and tapering to a

wedge-shaped base, often constricted near the center; leafstalk short;

stipules linear, soon falling.

=Inflorescence.=--May. Sterile catkins 2-3 inches long, thread hairy;

calyx deeply 3-7-parted, pale yellow, hairy; stamens 5-8; anthers

yellow, glabrous: pistillate flowers tomentose, on rather long, hairy

peduncles; stigmas red.

=Fruit.=--Variable, on stems 1-3 inches long, maturing the first season,

single or frequently in twos: cup rounded, rather thin, deep, rough to

mossy, often with fringed margins: acorn about 1 inch long,

oblong-ovoid, more or less tapering: meat sweet, edible.

=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; grows in any good

soil, wet or dry, but prefers a position on the edge of moist or boggy

land, where its roots can find a constant supply of water; growth fairly

rapid; seldom affected by insects or disease; occasionally offered by

nurserymen and rather less difficult to transplant than most of the

oaks. Its sturdy, rugged habit and rich dark green foliage make it a

valuable tree for ornamental plantations or even for streets.

1. Winter buds.

2. Flowering branch.

3. Sterile flower, side view.

4. Sterile flower, front view.

5. Fertile flowers.

6. Fruiting branch.

=Quercus Prinus, L.=