Quercus bicolor, swamp white oak

A choice oak for wet-dry clays and alluvial soils on creeks on the tablelands or riverine plains. With large, ovoid, lightly lobed leaves to 18cm long with silver undersides and a deep glossy green on top, this tree offers great landscape appeal as well. Autumn colour is good on the tablelands. Leaves remain on the tree for part of autumn and winter in milder districts. The bark is broken into plates with age and the tree shape is broadly oval-upright.

It’s ecological niche is similar to pin oak, both great in tight clays with wet to dry seasonal profiles. This is well illustrated in Canberra, ACT, where both grow superbly–both larger and longer than the local eucalypts. Tolerates droughts and rainfall down to 400mm, but 650mm is a good average for decent growth as is prefers moist lime free soils.

Its timber is treated on par with white oak in North America, and is used for construction, joinery, barrels and fuel. The wood is also water resistant. This tree grows quite quickly to around 25m with a stately shape. Some individuals can live up to 300 years.

Tree shape

Mature size


Growth rate


Soil type