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USDA Organic White Oak
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A mature White Oak tree reaching out its massive limbs against a background of blue sky is an awe-inspiring sight. This noble, slow-growing shade tree is a legacy tree—a tree to plant as a priceless gift to many future generations of picnickers, tire-swingers, shade-seekers, and tree-climbers, not to mention the rich diversity of birds and other animals that will benefit! Although you may never see your White Oak when it reaches full maturity, this tree will bring you pleasure as a youngster, too. White Oak tree leaves have some of the best red fall color of any of the Oaks. And when those new leaves emerge fuzzy and pink in the spring...simply adorable!
Tread lightly, shrink your footprint, and let yourself grow with USDA Certified Organic Trees. Organic farming has sprung up drastically in importance and influence, spreading worldwide the philosophy of deeply rooting nature in harmony and enriching the soil we stand upon. Benefitting the gardner, enhancing biodiversity, preserving nature's wildlife, and a true direction to protecting our environment. Choosing organic trees on your property, whether they are fruit, nut, ornamental, or shade trees, begins with their soil and cultivates change taking root in your backyard. Take one BIG TREE step for your garden, and one giant leap towards a greener world.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
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Colonel William H. Jackson, a professor at the University of Georgia, loved his White Oak so much that he deeded the eight feet of land surrounding it to itself! It soon became known as "the tree that owns itself." The tree that stands at that spot today, at the corner of Dearing and South Finley in Athens, Georgia, is actually the "son" of the "tree that owns itself." The original tree fell in 1942 and the current one was then planted from one of its acorns in that very spot. Today, you'll find this tree surrounded by a fence with a plaque that reads:
For and in consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides . - William H. Jackson.
This grand specimen is perfect as a shade tree and in large areas. It is incredibly stately with green foliage that has white undersides. During fall, foliage takes on purple-red hues. The bark is white to grey-white, earning its namesake. White Oaks are very adaptable and are even drought-tolerant once established.
What does it mean to be USDA Organically grown?
- USDA Organic crops are grown exclusively on land that has gone without having non-USDA Organic approved substances applied for three years.
- No pesticides for us, please! Organically grown crops are highly regulated on what can and cannot be used for pest control—worried about harsh chemicals that have been sprayed on your plant? There is only a small number of approved synthetic chemicals that are allowed to be used. Otherwise, farmers use strict biological, mechanical, and physical management practices.
- Not just any type of seeds are used to grow and harvest organic plants: farmers can only use organic seeds or organically raised seedlings in their organic fields.
- Only the best handling is allowed! Organic and non-organic crops are not allowed to be commingled or near each other. Cross-contamination can occur, botching the organic plant's purity due to non-organic substances that could have been sprayed on non-organic harvests; this would cause the organic plant to be considered compromised.
- Fields are carefully cultivated through crop rotation and proper tillage practices to ensure that the soil and the soil's nutrients are kept at a happy balance. Animal manure, not sludge, is allowed to help infuse the soil with nitrogen to support the growth of the organic crops.
How to Grow
This tree will require full sun and lots of room. Still with us? OK. The White Oak is a slow grower, but it does respond to extra doses of fertilizer and water when it's young. But don't let soil get too moist—Swamp White Oak is better-suited for that! Also, don't panic over a chewed leaf or two. Oaks are used to supporting an incredible variety of wildlife and can certainly take care of themselves!
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