How to Plant Swamp White Oak Trees


The swamp white oak grows all over North America. Despite what its name suggests, the swamp white oak is adaptable to a range of conditions in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. Swamp white oak prefers rich, deep, poorly-drained acidic soil that floods periodically. However, the easy-going tree can adapt to average and even dry soil with occasional periods of drought. Plant a swamp white oak in your yard, and it will provide a pleasant, low-maintenance addition that will hang around for centuries.

Step 1

Take a sample of the soil from the planting site to your local extension office for testing. The results will inform you of your soil's pH and nutrient levels and prescribe any amendments that should be added to the soil before you plant.

Step 2

Dig a 25-square-foot area, 2 to 3 feet deep. Loosen and break up the soil with a hand tiller. Add any amendments that your soil report prescribes and work the soil again to incorporate them. Smooth the soil over with a rake to make it level.

Step 3

Dig a hole twice as wide and just slightly deeper than the container your swamp white oak sapling is currently growing in.

Step 4

Remove the tree from its container. Loosen the root ball by gently pulling the roots outward with your hands.

Step 5

Place the sapling in the hole. It should sit at the same depth as it did in its container. Fill the rest of the hole with soil, and pat the soil down with your hands to remove any air pockets.

Step 6

Water the planting area until the soil is moist to the depth of the sapling's root ball. The best way to do this is to lay a slow-running hose at the base of the tree for a few yours. Continue to keep the soil moist until the swamp white oak establishes itself and produces new growth.

Step 7

Spread a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the planting area, but keep it 1 foot away from the trunk of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hand tiller
  • Rake


  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor
  • USDA Forest Service: Swamp White Oak
  • University of Florida: Quercus bicolor Figure 1. Mature Swamp White Oak. Swamp White Oak
Keywords: plant swamp oak, soil swamp oak, swamp oak sapling

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.