White Oak
Quercus alba
Family Fagaceae

* Leaves have multiple rounded lobes. When they unfold, they are a delicate reddish pink and soon turn to green.
* Acorns oblong, 1/2-4/5", set in a bowl-like cap that is covered by scales. Nuts take a year to mature and their meat is not bitter.
* Bark gray, with narrow, vertical blocks of scaly plates.
* Height: 80-100'.

Natural History:
* Habitat: Dry or moist deciduous woodlands.
* Range: Eastern United States.
* Native.

* The decks of Massachusetts' most famous ships, Old Ironsides and the U.S.S. Constitution, are made of white oak.

* Stately oaks are trees under which meetings are held, documents signed, history made. For hundreds of years, the Eliot Oak stood just two miles from Wellesley College, in South Natick. Under it, missionary and founder of Natick John Eliot preached to the Natick Indians in the 1630's. Eliot translated the Bible so that the Indians could learn his way of worship, and he built a meetinghouse next to the ancient oak. Today, the Eliot Church marks the spot of the tree.

* For many, the word "oak" connotes age, power, weight, strength, and nobility. In J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the sturdy race of dwarves is led by the venerable Oakinshield family. Oak furniture is known for its solid strength, and the pioneers used oak for their homes, barns, bridges, and mills. In more ways than one, oak trees helped to build our country.

* The fourth photo shows the class tree of Wellesley's Class of 1920, located on Severance Hill. This tree is the only class tree that was adopted, not planted, by the class; it was growing long before the Class of 1920 graced Wellesley's hallowed halls.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008