← Back to Plant Finder

Swamp White Oak
Quercus bicolor

Deciduous tree 50-60' tall and 40-50' wide with a trunk top up to 3' wide. Typically the crown is broad and rounded, often with drooping branches. Can withstand many stresses. It is used as a buffer slope and shoreline stabilizer. It is the only oak tree that is resistant to soil compaction. Its ability to withstand flooding suggests its use in rain water gardens as well as restorations of woodland swamps, flood plain forests, and other wet, forested, low areas. This species requires acidic soils. Excellent wildlife benefits, good in wet and low areas.

USDA symbol: QUBI

General Information

Plant TypeTree
Height50 to 60 feet
Light ExposureSun, Part Sun
Soil MoistureMedium
Bloom ColorWhite, Green
Swamp White Oak (Swamp White Oak<div><em class="small">Quercus bicolor</em></div>)
Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceVery High
General Resilience9
Salt ToleranceHigh
Stress ToleranceFire Tolerant

Pollinator Value: Medium

Bloom MonthsMay
Larval Host ofButterflies, Moths
Specific Pollinators HostedCameraria hamadryadella, Erynnis brizo, Erynnis horatius

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Rain Garden, Restoration, Sandy or Engineered Soils, Upland Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism7
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyHennepin, Houston, Ramsey, Wabasha, Winona
EcoregionDriftless Area, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland