White Oak Is The State Tree Of Illinois. The White Oak tree was approved as the official state tree of Illinois on February 21, 1908, effective July 1, 1908. In 1907, Mrs. James C. Fessler of Rochelle suggested to state officials that Illinois schoolchildren vote for a State Tree and State Flower. They selected the Oak as Illinois State Tree. The white oak can be found in every corner of the Illinois state. It grows best in upland areas and on slopes. It is not a tree that grows well in wet soil.
Average growth of the white oak tree is 100 feet in height and three feet in diameter. State Tree Of Illinois White oak can live for 350 to 400 years. Its leaves are bright green on top and pale green on the bottom. Each leaf has seven to nine rounded lobes. The State Tree Of Illinois white oak has gray-white bark and green-brown acorns. State Tree Of Illinois gets the name “white oak” from the light appearance of the bark.
White Oak is an excellent shade tree because of its thick leaves and wide-spreading branches. In the fall, the leaves of white oak trees turn colors before they fall off. They may be red, gold, brown, yellow or purple. Sometimes you can find all of these colors on the same tree. The Illinois State Tree white oak is an important tree to people and wildlife. Settlers in the Illinois territory used its acorns to feed pigs and its wood to build homes.
The ship, the U.S.S. Constitution, was built with white oak wood. It was called “Old Ironsides” because cannonballs were rumored to have bounced off of the hard, white oak wood during a battle in the War of 1812. Today, Illinois State Tree white oak wood is used to make many objects, including chairs, tables, cabinets, and fences. Deer, wild turkey, songbirds, squirrels and other animals all live in or around the white oak and feed on its acorns.
Identification of the White Oak:
Leaf: Alternate, simple, oblong to ovate in shape, pinnately veined with an evenly lobed margin, 4 to 7 inches long. The apex of White Oak is rounded and the base is wedge-shaped.
Twig: Red-brown to somewhat gray, hairless, with red-brown multiple terminal buds that are small, rounded and hairless. Twigs are often shiny or somewhat glaucous.
Bark: White Oak is Whitish or ashy gray, varying from scaly to irregularly platy or blocky. On older trees, smooth patches are not uncommon.
Form: White Oak Is a large tree; when open grown, white oaks have rugged, irregular crowns that are wide spreading, with a stocky bole. In the forest, crowns are upright and oval.