The White Oak
The oak tree, the national tree of the United States, is a beloved tree indeed. With its massive height and capacity for longevity this tree is truly a sight to marvel at. There are actually over 600 species of oak trees in the world but in this article we will focus on one of the most common in our area, the white oak. With a life span of 200-300 years (some being even older) and an average height of over 100 feet the white oak certainly lives up to what respected 20th century naturalist Donald Peattie once said, “If oak is the king of trees, as tradition has it, then the white oak, throughout its range, is the king of kings.”
Did You Know?-The Pechanga Great Oak is a breathtaking oak tree located in Temecula, CA. With its branches towering nearly 100 feet in the air, this 1,000+ year old wonder is one of the oldest living oak trees in the Western United States.
Besides the obvious benefits of the white oak giant, such as shade and improved air quality, the white oak’s bark is said to have healing properties and has long been used by the Native Americans for a variety of health conditions. White oak trees also produce acorns which in themselves have much to offer. The average white oak will produce its first acorns at around 20 years of age with production reaching its peak around 50 years of age. Although only around 1 in 10,000 acorns actually becomes a tree they provide much in the way of food for our furry friends, can be consumed in moderation by humans*, offer skin care benefits and promote healing. Interested in a DIY Acorn Coffee Recipe? Click Here
So the next time you look up at a majestic white oak tree instead of seeing just a tree take a moment to think about the history, the benefits to your community and the practicality of this green giant.
*Excessive consumption of acorns can cause nausea and stomach upset due to the tannin content, so always ensure that you steep the acorns to remove those bitter components. Acorn poisoning or oak toxicity occurs when these nuts are consumed in excess. This may lead to gastrointestinal and kidney issues. -organicfacts.net