This week let us do some sleuthing. I came upon this tree yesterday in Orrville, Ohio in the Smucker’s Fitness Walk path. The leaf told me something, but first, let us look at the tell-tale terminal buds: clustered.
This is typical of oaks, the genus Quercus.
And the leaves obviously suggest oak-hood, in this case with rounded lobes without a bristle tip, thus the…
White oak group
Oaks in the white oak group tend to hybridize freely, unlike with the black or red oak group (pin oaks, black oaks, scarlet oaks). Oaks in the white oak group include the eastern white oak, the swamp white oak, the bur oak, the English oak, and so on. The Latin binomial for swamp white oak is:
Which of course, suggests that the two sides of the leaf are different colors, and in fact swamp white oak has leaves that are glossy dark green on the upper surface and a very light green to silvery white color on the undersurface.
Now, swamp white oaks typically have a rounded, spreading growth habit, not an upright habit like seen here. But an oak in the white oak group that is typically upright is…
The English oak. But many English oaks get so much powdery mildew disease, enough in some cases to make them quite unsightly. “Quite”, as an Englisher might say. But the Orrville oak had only a smidgen of powdery mildew. So, we have an oak with
bicolored leaves x upright x modest powdery mildew
Might this be a:
Quercus bicolor x Quercus robur hybrid?
Perhaps. It might even be the hybrid oak that was the College of Wooster’s Arbor Day tree this past April, the cross between...
Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’ and the swamp white oak, Quercus bicolor.
This tree has the patented cultivar name ‘Long’ and a trademark name of:
The Regal Prince™ oak.
Perhaps. But that is a story for another bygl-alert.