Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow…

The word “mighty” is nearly always used to describe the oak tree, and with good reason. It’s a dignified tree with a long romantic, economic, and ecological history—all arising from that little acorn. Selecting the white oak (Quercus alba) as the Arboretum’s 2012 Native Tree of the Year was a natural choice, as it is already revered as the official state tree of Maryland. Reaching up to 100 feet high and thriving in a wide range of soils, the white oak is a symbol of strength and longevity.

You can read all about the mighty Quercus alba by clicking here, but here are a few facts to tide you over:

  • Maryland’s Eastern Shore boasts the largest stand of white oaks. 
  • White oak acorns feed many animals, and the genus supports hundreds of butterfly and moth species (thus feeding a huge bird population). 
  • Ships, furniture, and baskets have a long history of being made from oak. 
  • Native Americans processed the acorns of white oak to make a flour for eating. 
  • You can purchase your own white oak at the Adkins Arboretum Native Plant Nursery!
by Joanne Healey
Adkins Arboretum Nursery Manager
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