Durand White Oak
OTHER COMMON NAMES: DURAND WHITE OAK, WHITE OAK, BLUFF OAK
Quercus sinuata var. sinuata (KWER-kus sin-you-AH-taw)
Fagaceae (Beech Family)
Deciduous shade tree
HEIGHT: 60 to 90 feet
SPREAD: 30 to 40 feet
FINAL SPACING: 20 to 50 feet
NATURAL HABITAT AND PREFERRED SITE: Neutral to acidic deep rich and moist soils, also limestone flats and grasslands of the eastern third of the state. Durand oak will adapt well to a wide range of soil types from sand to clay in a landscape situation. Seems to grow well in most parts of Texas. Durand oak is found growing primarily on deeper soils such as east Texas Pineywoods is native to the Waco area.
IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION: Tall, rather irregularly shaped tree. It has open branching, smallish leaves with rounded lobes and yellow to reddish fall color. Sometimes confused with the much shorter growing bigelow oak that grows in the rocky limestone soils.
FLOWERS AND FRUIT: Catkins are separate – male and female three fourths to one inch long and fuzzy. Male flowers are rust color and hang from terminal twig growth in early spring. Female flowers bloom singly or in small clusters. Fruits are one seeded acorns like all oaks. Fruit matures in the fall October through November and is born on short stems close to the stem.
BARK: Pale gray to brown, smooth on young trees but developing heavier texture with maturity.
FOLIAGE: Leaves are simple, alternate and deciduous with yellow to reddish fall color.
CULTURE: Easy to grow in well-drained soils varying from sandy to fairly heavy clays with a minimum amount of water and fertilizer.
PROBLEMS: Few if any other than the fact the tree is not widely available in the nursery trade at this time. It is a plant that should be used more.
PROPAGATION: From acorns planted immediately after they have released from the tree.
INSIGHT: Close relative bigelow oak, (Quercus sinuata var. breviloba), is a smaller growing (12 to 15 feet), has pale flaky bark, orange fall color and very interesting crooked branching. It is one of the trees considered a shin oak and is native to the north central part of Texas.
Durand oak is a taller, more robust tree than bigalo oak, nurtured by thousands of years of richer soil and more rainfall, whereas the more xeric, smaller bigelow oak has evolved farther west, where rainfall sharply decreases and the water-holding capacity of the shallow limestone soils is less. These characters are by now fixed, so that seeds from each will develop true to the parent.