The White Oak (scientifically known as the Quercus alba) is a variety of hardwood timber commonly found in the Eastern United States. Most oak trees are deciduous, with a few being of the evergreen type.  The tree  grows up to 80-100 feet, with a lifespan of about 200 years. It is said that some may even end up living a thousand years. An oak tree has both male and female flowers, and bear fruits called acorn which are feasted on by a variety of animals.  


The colour of the white oak, contrary to its name, is not white in the beginning. The heartwood (the part of the trunk where sap doesn’t flow) starts off with a light to medium brown, most commonly with an olive cast.  There are ray fleck patterns found in the quarter-sawn sections.


The white oak is characteristic of a straight grain with a coarse, uneven texture.


Being one of the strongest hardwoods, the white oak is commonly used in furniture, flooring, building, veneer and cabinetry, etc. Oak is popular in building ships and boats due to their durability and rot resistance. Barrels for wine and  whisky are also made out of oak, and may be charred before use, thereby adding colour, flavour and aroma to the wine aged in them.  


The White Oak is known to be extremely strong, durable, and resistant to rot and fungi.  


One of the most famous white oaks was featured in IMDb’s highest rated movie The Shawshank Redemption, during the last 10 minutes of the film. The tree later became popular as the “Shawshank Tree” or the “Tree of Hope”.

The White Oak has also been named as the national/state tree of several places.