Quercus bicolor

Quercus bicolor

Swamp White Oak

[optinlocker]Quercus bicolor is amongst the most elegant of the deciduous oaks, and should be considered for use in Australian parks and broad street verges.

Swamp White Oak is a broadly-pyramidal tree with a strong central leader. The foliage is large, bluish-green above, and frequently silver beneath. As the common name indicates, it has foliage like White Oak, rounded lobes and deep sinuses. This foliage can be to 150mm long, and gives a very lush appearance from mid-spring to late autumn. The autumn foliage colour is not intense, instead the leaves turn a pleasing pale-to-butter yellow, and hold on the tree for a few weeks. The acorns are sparse, and not a problem for urban horticulture.

Q. bicolor originates in lowland sites across eastern North America. In Australia it will require the wettest sites available, but will thrive in boggy locations where other trees may fail from deoxygenation. It is well suited to low pH areas, possibly as low as pH 4.5. Given adequate moisture, Swamp White Oak can be fast growing—typically as fast as Q. palustris. It will live equally as long as the long-lived oaks, such as Q. robur.

If the space is large enough to accommodate the large spreading canopy, and if the site is wet enough, Q. bicolor is an excellent choice for a long-lived elegant tree.[/optinlocker]

Typical mature height: 15m

Useful in: avenues, parks, broad streets

Sites for best growth: ample water best