Other Common Names:
The other common names for the gospel tree are Oak, White oak and Tanners Bark.
The botanical name quercus comes from the Celt words quer (good) and cuez (tree), and the common name of chen (beautiful).
The oak (Quercus spp.) is the most widespread hardwood in the Northern Hemisphere, prized for its shade, the beauty of its architecture and foliage, and for its strength, longevity and durability in both landscape and lumber. Worldwide, some 600 species make their home in forests on every wooded continent but Australia. According to Cornell plant scientist Kevin C. Nixon, Ph.D., different oak species worldwide are "adapted to a broad array of habitats." The white oak has also been considered as the official state tree of Illinois.
Quercus alba, commonly known as White Oak, is a large deciduous shade tree renowned for its strength and long life. A slow grower, White Oak eventually attains heights of 50 to 80 feet and over 100 feet in the wild. The leaves are divided into several rounded lobes. The leaves usually turn red or brown in autumn, but depending on climate, site, and individual tree genetics, some trees are nearly always red, or even purple in autumn, others turn straight to a brown. Some brown, dead leaves may remain on the tree throughout winter until very early spring.
They are variably lobed; sometimes the lobes are shallow, extending less than half-way to the midrib, but sometimes they are deeply lobed, with the lobes somewhat branching. The fruit is a smooth acorn, caramel-colored at maturity, and topped with a sculpted cup that covers a quarter of the fruit. Acorns annual; 1 - 3 acorns on peduncle up to 1 1/4 inch (32 mm) long, light grey pubescent cup, enclosing 1/4 of the nut; light brown, oblong nut, up to 1 inch (25 mm) long; germinates in the fall after dropping to the ground. A healthy, 25-year-old oak tree can produce up to 25,000 acorns. Its roots have a wide spread. The flowers of the Quercus alba, are staminate and pistillate.The calyx of the staminate flowers is bright yellow, hairy, six to eight-lobed, lobes shorter than the stamens; anthers yellow.
Gospel tree is a native of United States. It is widely distributed in Eastern North America from Maine to Florida, west to Texas and Minnesota. Various parts of Texas can accommodate oak species of the Southeastern forests, Southwestern woodlands and mountains, and South-central plains.
t grows best in well drained, moist, deep, and slightly acidic soils, and prefers full sun. White Oak is drought tolerant and has modest water needs. It is generally seen in dry woods, gravely ridges, sandy plains, rich uplands and moist bottoms. The best specimens are found in deep rich well-drained loamy soils.
The plant prefers medium loamy and heavy clay soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic alkaline soils. It can grow in semi-shade light woodland or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate strong winds but not maritime exposure. Seed - it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool over winter but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.
The monoecious flowers of the white oak tree are in bloom from April to May.
Pests and Diseases
Potential diseases include oak wilt, anthracnose and oak leaf blister. Potential insects include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner and lace bug.
The buds, young leaves, the acorns, the outer bark and the sapwood are the most commonly used parts of the tree for its commercial and medicinal purposes. Very common in many countries where it forms large forests.
• Oak bark and galls are astringent and antiseptic.
• Oak bark provides tannin and as leather tanners seemed immune to tuberculosis, the bark was used for treatment of the disease.
• The white oak is the best for internal use. Infuse the inner bark or young leaf for douches and enemas.
• It is used for internal rectal problems, hemorrhoids, leukorrhea, menstrual irregularities, and bloody urine.
• It is also take internally as a tea and externally in fomentation, to shrink varicose veins.
• The tea brings down fevers, treats diarrhea, and makes a wash for sores.
• As a gargle, it treats mouth sores and sore throats. Being an astringent, it stops internal bleeding. Black oak (Q. tinctoria) and red oak (Q. rubra) can be
• Oak leaves are prepared in infusion for douches to treat vaginal infections.
• A tea of the buds is a valuable tonic for the liver; steep two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes.
• White Oak is a hardwood tree commonly used in furniture construction, flooring, and wine barrels.
• White Oak is commonly grown as a shade tree or street tree, though if given sufficient room, it can also be planted as an ornamental lawn tree.
• The gall can be used as a rich source of tannin that can also be used as a dyestuff.
• The seed can be roasted and then eaten; its taste is something like a cross between sunflower seeds and popcorn.
• A mulch of the leaves repels slugs, grubs etc, though fresh leaves should not be used as these can inhibit plant growth.
• The bark is a rich source of tannin.
• It is used for cabinet making, construction, agricultural tools etc, and is also a good fuel.