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Natural Resources

Posted on: September 7, 2023

Tree of the Month: Swamp White Oak

Swamp White Oak

Swamp White Oak is a native shade tree species with unique, attractive peeling bark. It can grow up to a height of 60 feet. It has leaves that are lobed with a two-toned appearance of dark green on the topside and silver-white on the underside. Leaves are simple, alternate, and 5-6 inches long. They have attractive orange-gold fall color, turning to yellow in mid-autumn.  Swamp White oaks attract migrant birds and produce acorns that are a valuable food source for wildlife.

Swamp White Oaks make up .7% of the total Tree Canopy Area in Mendota Heights (Mendota Heights Natural Resources Management Plan, 2022). The native range of the Swamp White Oak extended from Quebec west to Minnesota and south to the southeastern United States. In Minnesota, it is a species of special concern due to the destruction of its natural flood plain habitat. Swamp White Oaks are commonly found in lowland floodplain forests, but are also very drought tolerant. Swamp White Oaks are adaptable to a wide variety of soil types and moisture, however prefer moist to wet soil and grow well in full sun.

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