White oak occurs naturally throughout eastern North America from southern Ontario and Quebec, south to eastern Texas and northern Florida, excluding the lower Mississippi Delta and a narrow band along the northern Gulf Coast. The handsome white oak is among the grandest and most important of North American trees. Named for its gray-white bark, the white oak is easily recognized and is a favorite of everyone. White oaks can get up to 150 ft (45.7 m) tall with trunks 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) in diameter, but are more commonly 60-80 ft (18-24 m) tall with 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m) trunks. In the forest, white oak grows straight and tall with a narrow crown, but specimens grown in the open develop a broad, wide-spreading, rounded crown. The distinctive ashy gray bark is broken into scaly plates separated by vertical fissures. The bark can be as much as 2 in (5 cm) thick on large trees. The leaves too are distinctive: They are 5-9 in (13-23 cm) long with 7-9 rounded lobes - the quintessential oak leaf. They are pinkish as they unfold in spring, dark green in summer, and turn purplish red in fall. The acorns are about an inch long, with a bowl-like cup enclosing the lower one-fourth of the shiny brown nut. Typical for members of the White Oak Group (see the northern red oak profile), the acorns are sweet and mature in a single season. Large seed crops, called masts, are produced every 4-6 years.
Sources: Quercus alba Plant Profile - Floridata, http://mobile.floridata.com/Plants/Fagaceae/Quercus%20alba/956 (accessed January 19, 2017).