Quercus bicolor, commonly called swamp white oak, is a medium sized, deciduous tree with a broad, rounded crown and a short trunk which typically grows at a moderate rate to a height of 50-60' (sometimes larger). Leaves are dark, shiny green above and silvery white beneath, with 5-10 rounded lobes or blunt teeth along the margins. Fall color is yellow, but sometimes reddish purple. Insignificant flowers in separate male and female catkins in spring. Fruits are acorns which mature in early fall. Indigenous to north, central and eastern Missouri in moist to swampy locations in bottomlands and lowlands, such as along streams and lakes, valleys, floodplains and at the edge of swamps. Also has surprisingly good drought resistance.
Quercus bicolor grows rapidly and can reach 60 to 80 feet (18 to 24 meters) tall with the tallest known reaching 29 m (95 ft) and lives up to 285 years. The bark resembles that of the white oak.
The leaves are broad ovoid, 12–18 cm (4 3⁄4–7 in) long and 7–11 cm (2 3⁄4–4 1⁄4 in) broad, always more or less glaucous on the underside, and are shallowly lobed with five to seven lobes on each side, intermediate between the chestnut oak and the white oak. In autumn, they turn brown, yellow-brown, or sometimes reddish, but generally, the color is not as reliable or as brilliant as the white oak can be. The fruit is a peduncled acorn, 1.5–2 cm (5⁄8–3⁄4 in) (rarely 2.5 cm or 0.98 in) long and 1–2 cm (3⁄8–3⁄4 in) broad, maturing about 6 months after pollination.
It is one of the more important white oaks for lumber production. The wood is similar to that of Q. alba and is not differentiated from it in the lumber trade. In recent years, the swamp white oak has become a popular landscaping tree due to its relative ease of transplanting.
Being in the white oak group, wildlife such as deer, bear, turkey, ducks, and geese, as well as other animals are attracted to this tree when acorns are dropping in the fall.