Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Quercus bicolor


SPECIES: Quercus bicolor
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Snyder, S. A. 1992. Quercus bicolor In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : QUEBIC SYNONYMS : SCS PLANT CODE : QUBI COMMON NAMES : swamp white oak TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of swamp white oak is Quercus bicolor Willd. (Fagaceae) [10]. There are no recognized varieties or forms. Swamp white oak hybridizes with the following [10,14]: Q. alba (Q. X jackiana Schneider) Q. stellata (Q. X substellata Trel.) Q. lyrata (Q. X humidicola E.J. Palmer) Q. macrocarpa (Q. X Hillii Trel.) Q. X introgressa is a hybrid cross formed with another hybrid parent [28]. Q. meuhlenbergii is introgressed by Q. prinoides and Q. bicolor. For more information on swamp white oak hybrids see Little [36]. LIFE FORM : Tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Quercus bicolor
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Swamp white oak occurs mainly in the midwestern states from Iowa, southern Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio south to northern Kentucky. Isolated populations occur in Minnesota, New England, Quebec, Ontario, Tennessee, and North Carolina [18]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES18 Maple - beech - birch FRES19 Aspen - birch STATES : CT DE IL IN IA KS KY ME MD MA MI MN MO NH NJ NY NC OH PA RI TN VT VA WV WI ON PQ BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K098 Northern floodplain forest K099 Maple - basswood forest K100 Oak - hickory forest K101 Elm - ash forest K102 Beech - maple forest K103 Mixed mesophytic forest K106 Northern hardwoods SAF COVER TYPES : 26 Sugar maple - basswood 14 Northern pin oak 38 Tamarack 39 Black ash - American elm - red maple 52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak 53 White oak 59 Yellow poplar - white oak - northern red oak 60 Beech - sugar maple 62 Silver maple - American elm 64 Sassafras - persimmon 65 Pin oak - sweet gum 92 Sweetgum - willow oak 94 Sycamore - sweetgum - American elm 108 Red maple SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Quercus bicolor
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Oak species account for one-third of the hardwood sawtimber volume in the United States [34]. Swamp white oak is a heavy, hard wood that machines well, but it can check and warp if not dried properly. It is used for furniture, flooring, boxes, crates, barrels, kegs, ships and boats [27]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Swamp white oak acorns are an important food for wildlife such as squirrels, white-tailed deer, beaver, black bear, and a variety of birds [3,12,24]. It provides cover for birds and mammals [6]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Percent oven-dry weight nutrient values for swamp white oak leaves are as follows [4]: nitrogen 2.02 potassium 1.20 phosphorous 0.26 calcium 1.07 magnesium 0.31 COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Swamp white oak is planted on highway rights-of-way [15]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Swamp white oak is a component of forested wetlands, many of which are being converted to agricultural lands and subdivisions [7]. Oaks are susceptible to many insect pests, fungi, cankers, and wilts. Refer to Solomon and others [34] for information on how to recognize and control these diseases [34]. Oak species can suffer from what is known as "oak decline." This is when trees die or limbs die back due to environmental stresses [35].


SPECIES: Quercus bicolor
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Swamp white oak is a native deciduous tree that reaches heights of 50 to 70 feet (15-20 m) and diameters of 2 to 3 feet (0.6-1 m) [31]. It has a limby bole and an open, irregularly shaped crown. Its bark is flakey and grey. Its leaves resemble those of chestnut (Castanea spp.); they are shallowly lobed with serrate margins [22]. The fruit is an acorn 0.75 to 1.25 inches (2-3 cm) long. A mossy-like fringed cup covers from one-third to one-half of the acorn [10]. Acorns are one seeded (rarely two) and form singly or in clusters [25]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte: Mesophanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sexual: Swamp white oak reproduces by seed, which mature in 1 year [31]. Good seed crops are produced every 4 to 7 years, but many acorns are infested by insects [33]. Acorns must be collected shortly afer falling to prevent early germination. Viability can be tested by dumping acorns into water. Those that float are not viable. Acorns cannot be stored for more than a few months. Cleaned seed averages 120 per pound (108/kg). One hundred pounds of fruit will average between 60 and 75 pounds (54-67.5/kg) of seed [25]. Seedlings grow slowly at less than 6 inches (15 cm) per year [33]. Vegetative: Swamp white oak can sprout from its trunk [33]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Swamp white oak occurs in river bottomlands, depressions, along streamsides, swamp borders, and on moist peaty flats [10,20]. It is a minor component in tamarack (Larix laricina) swamps of southwestern Michigan [16]. Along the Ohio shores of Lake Erie, swamp white oak grows in Toledo soil, a very poorly drained, silty clay. It also grows on Nappanee soils, which are somewhat poorly drained silt loams [13]. Along the Kankakee River on the Illinois and Indiana border, swamp white oak is a major overstory component of the floodplain forest. Here the soils are highly permeable, frequently flooded sandy loams [21]. In Quebec, swamp white oak occurs on sandy and loamy sand alluvium between 68 and 87 feet (22.6 and 28.9 m) in elevation [30]. Plant associates include pin oak (Quercus palustris), northern red oak (Q. rubra), hickory (Carya spp.), beech (Fagus spp.), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), red maple (Acer rubrum), silver maple (A. saccharinum), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanicum), tamarack, dogwood (Cornus spp.), sumac (Rhus spp.), serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), grape (Vitis spp.), holly (Ilex spp.), and viburnum (Viburnum spp.) [3,5,9,12,30]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Swamp white oak is intermediate in shade tolerance but not very drought tolerant [20]. It is a dominant tree in wetlands on infertile to fertile soils of oak ecosystems in southeastern Michigan [2]. Without disturbance elm (Ulmus americana)-ash (Fraxinus spp.)-cottonwood (Populus spp.) types will convert to oak-dominated types that include swamp white oak [23]. White oak (Quercus alba) forests of southern Ohio (of which swamp white oak is a component) will progress towards hickory and beech forests if undisturbed [5]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Swamp white oak acorns ripen from August through December [25].


SPECIES: Quercus bicolor
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : All oaks can resprout from stems when top-killed by fire. The ability to sprout decreases with an increase in age and tree size [33]. Many seedlings develop an "S"-shaped crook in their stems, which protects dormant buds from fire heat and enables seedlings to sprout [32]. With repeated fire stems become calloused. This tissue is filled with dormant buds that resprout. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2 survivor species; on-site surviving root crown


SPECIES: Quercus bicolor
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Severe fires can top-kill swamp white oak [33]. Moderate fires may kill seedlings and saplings, but older trees usually survive. Fire-damaged surviving trees are susceptible to disease and insect attack. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : A prescribed burn on an Indiana savannah did not kill swamp white oak saplings and larger trees [1]. However, trees did not sprout following the burn. Average fuel loads were 560 g/sq m before the fire and from 400 to 650 g/sq m 1 year after the fire. Fires during the dormant season are less damaging to oaks because of lowered ambient temperatures and the tree's physiological state [32]. Crooked trees may be killed more easily than straight trees if the crooked trees are leaning towards the flames. Overstocked stands may suffer more damage from fire due to reduced vigor and size of individuals [32]. Fire appears to affect acorn crops only in that, dying trees tend to produce a massive crop. Acorns themselves are easily destroyed by fire because of high moisture content [32]. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Swamp white oak stems can resprout following fire. Sprouts can grow as much as 3 to 6 feet (1-3 m) per year for the first 2 to 3 postfire years [33]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Fire can reduce litter depth, allowing oak seedlings to become established [32]. Fire can also reduce stocking rates of other species, allowing oak species to increase in basal area. Fire can induce vigorous sprouting from older root stock, which may be a preferred reproductive method [32].


SPECIES: Quercus bicolor
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Proceedings, 8th central hardwood forest conference; 1991 March 4-6; University Park, PA. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 157-178. [15309] 21. Mitsch, William J.; Rust, William G. 1984. Tree growth responses to flooding in a bottomland forest in northeastern Illinois. Forest Science. 30(2): 499-510. [5011] 22. Muth, Gilbert Jerome. 1980. Quercus saderiana R. Br. Campst., its distribution, ecology, and relationships to other oaks. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 75-80. [7017] 23. Myers, Charles C.; Buchman, Roland G. 1984. Manager's handbook for elm-ash-cottonwood in the North Central States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-98. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 11 p. [8919] 24. Nixon, Charles M.; McClain, Milford W.; Russell, Kenneth R. 1970. Deer food habits and range characteristics in Ohio. Journal of Wildlife Management. 34(4): 870-886. [16398] 25. Olson, David F., Jr. 1974. Quercus L. oak. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 692-703. [7737] 26. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 27. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1956. Wood...colors and kinds. Agric. Handb. 101. Washington, DC. 36 p. [16294] 28. Thomson, Paul M. 1977. Quercus X introgressa, a new hybrid oak. Rhodora. 79: 453-464. [10372] 29. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 30. Vincent, Gilles; Bergeron, Yves; Meilleur, Alain. 1986. Plant community pattern analysis: a cartographic approach applied in the Lac des Deux-Montagnes area (Quebec). Canadian Journal of Botany. 64: 326-335. [16948] 31. Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa State College Press. 371 p. [1913] 32. Rouse, Cary. 1986. Fire effects in northeastern forests: oak. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-105. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [3884] 33. Sander, Ivan L.; Rosen, Howard N. 1985. Oak: An American wood. FS-247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 11 p. [18167] 34. Solomon, J. D.; McCracken, F. I.; Anderson, R. L.; [and others]. 1980. Oak pests: A guide to major insects, diseases, air pollution, and chemican injury. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-11. 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