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Kentucky Color: White Oak
Unsung White Oak can provide eye-pleasing color
Click on headline for story plus photo
To see the next earlier Kentucky Color, click on Vapor Trail Tic Tac Toe
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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