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!
Adkins Arboretum Nursery Manager