White Oak
Quercus alba L. (Fagaceae)

Common Names
White oak, common white oak, fork-leaf white oak, ridge white oak, stave oak, stone oak, tannerís oak.

Description
A tree that is usually 60 to 80 feet in height, but sometimes reaches 150 feet. The bark is a light ashy gray, variable in appearance--from loosely attached plates on young trees to narrow, rounded ridges with deep fissures on old trees. The smooth thin leaves, which are 5 to 9 inches long, have short stems and are usually divided into 7 to 9 smooth, rounded lobes.

Flowering Period
March to May.

Habitat
Widely distributed in hardwood forests of the eastern United States.

Harvest
Inner bark, at any time; bark form older trees should be collected in spring.

Uses
The pollen is reportedly allergenic. Because the bark contains tannins, it is used as an astringent and antiseptic. In Appalachia, a bark tea is used to treat burns and sore mouth. A chartreuse dye is obtained from the bark.

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