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Kentucky Color: White Oak

Unsung White Oak can provide eye-pleasing color
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By Billy Joe Fudge, President, Homeplace on Green River, Inc.
6048 New Columbia RD, Campbellsville, KY

When it comes to fall color White Oak trees are usually not very showy when compared to maples, dogwoods, gums, etc., but as you can see in the accompanying photo there are wonderful, eye-pleasing exceptions.

Leaf color is mostly determined by genetics within species, but depth and fertility of soils, rainfall, amount of shade and sun, etc. are contributing factors. As to what causes leaves to begin to change colors, most sources cite the length of day as the primary catalyst.

White Oak leaves are lobed to various depths and the tips of the lobes are rounded. Red oaks are similarly lobed to various depths but the tips of the lobes are pointed. As with most leaf identification rules there are exceptions.

I suppose that White Oak wood is most famous for its use in whiskey (bourbon in Kentucky) barrels. Of course it makes beautiful flooring, furniture, and trim, also.

It has been reported that the Native Americans and even our forefathers boiled the White Oak acorns and ate them. I haven't tried it, but if you do let us know how it works out.

This story was posted on 2009-10-25 06:06:02
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Kentucky Color: White Oak with brilliant red leaves

2009-10-25 - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge. While White Oak is not considered to have showy fall color, there are exceptions to be found, as seen in this October 23, 2009 photo.
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