Commonly called the ‘King of the Oaks’ this well-known tree presents a magnificent appearance and almost unparalleled value for pollinators, birds, and wildlife. The acorns are one of the best sources of food for wildlife and are gathered, hoarded, and consumed by birds, deer, chipmunks, and squirrels.
White Oaks host 534 known species of moth and butterflies. The tree is also vital for many of Ohio’s migrant songbirds, which depend mightily on these little wrigglers for their survival. For example, the imperiled cerulean warbler is largely dependent on older, larger white oaks for nesting and reproductive success. This beautiful bird has declined more dramatically in recent years than any of our other migrant songbirds. The recovery and future success of white oak is one of the major keys to the cerulean warblers’ future.
At one point white oak made up 60% of the forest canopy in Jefferson County, but because the wood is in such high demand the current forest canopy of Jefferson County is believed to only have white oak make up 11% of the trees. This decline is staggering and ecologically could result in the decline of a variety of plant, animal, and fungi species in the area.