Hybrid Swamp x Bur Oak
Quercus x schuettei
Description & Overview
Quercus x schuettei is a naturally occurring hybrid between the Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and the Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor). This oak is a great choice for lowland areas with saturated soils or sites that are high and dry! It combines the best characteristics of both parent oaks such as alkaline soil tolerance, poor drainage tolerance, and it also has hybrid vigor. This oak grows faster than both of its parent species.
The Hybrid Swamp x Bur Oak is one of the fastest-growing oaks out there. This tree is vigorous and can have intermediate characteristics of both species. Swamp White Oak is intolerant to alkaline soils, but this hybrid oak is able to tolerate alkalinity thanks to its Bur Oak parentage. This oak can adapt to a wide range of soil conditions ranging from wet soils on the edge of swampy areas or riverbanks to drier, upland soils. Thanks to the vigorous growth rate as well as its tolerance for sites with poor drainage or alkalinity, we can consider this oak Urban Approved which makes it an eligible street tree.
The tree is sturdy and is not likely to shed branches. This makes Hybrid Swamp x Bur Oak an ideal choice for parks or medians where there is plenty of room for it to reach its mature size.
Once established, it requires little maintenance. The large, open-rounded crown makes it an excellent shade tree for large lawns or naturalized areas.
Hybrid Swamp x Bur Oak belongs to the White Oak Group, meaning it has less tannin in its acorns than members of the Red Oak Group. This makes them less bitter and is seen as a tastier snack to wildlife. A plethora of wildlife uses the acorns as a valuable food source, such as blue jays, crows, wild turkey, deer, black bears, chipmunks, and many others.
The caterpillars of Duskywing skippers, Hairstreak butterflies, and several moth species feed on the foliage and other parts of the tree. Leaf beetles and the Miridae are also common insects that feed on the tree. It should be noted that these insects rarely cause damage to the point of needing treatment. These various insects are an attractive food source for insectivorous birds like flycatchers and warblers.
Young Hybrid Swamp x Bur Oaks are tolerant of light shade but prefer full sun. All oaks are susceptible to the Two-Lined Chestnut Borer during their establishment period after planting. We recommend applying a systemic insecticide containing imidacloprid to protect the tree from the insect.
Do not prune oaks during the growing season. Oak Wilt is a fungal disease that can damage stressed trees. Oaks in the Red Oak Group are more susceptible to this disease. While members of the White Oak group are less susceptible, we still recommend pruning only during the dormant season in winter after the leaves have fallen.
We invite you to check out the Arborist For Hire lookup at the Wisconsin Arborist Association website to find an ISA Certified Arborist near you.
A healthy, stress-free Oak has few significant insect or disease problems. We recommend taking measures to avoid damaging or wounding the tree during the growing season to help prevent Oak Wilt.
Oak Wilt is a fungal disease that invades areas inside the tree where water moves. Once infected, balloon-like bumps known as tyloses are formed and these tyloses plug up the path where water is translocated throughout the tree. As the water movement is halted, leaves will eventually wilt and drop. Oak Wilt is fatal to oaks of any age if left untreated. This disease can spread above ground by sap-feeding beetles or underground through root grafts from diseased oaks to healthy oaks. The best treatment is prevention, however, if your oak does become infected, we recommend contacting a certified arborist and follow their recommendations.
The Two-Lined Chestnut Borer is a pest that attacks all oak species. Oaks are susceptible to this insect after planting while they are getting established. Applying a systemic insecticide that contains imidacloprid when planting is a great way to help protect your tree. We recommend treating B&B oaks for the first two years after planting. The best defense against this insect, as well as other common ornamental problems like leaf spot and anthracnose is prevention. A healthy, non-stressed tree will not attract these pests and diseases.
The specific epithet schuetti honors J.H. Schuette (1821-1908) an author and botanist who discovered this hybrid growing in the wild in Northern Wisconsin in the late 1800s.
Thanks to its fibrous root system, this tree is exceptionally easy to transplant.
The acorn of Oaks in the White Oak Group can be ground into a powder and used for making bread, dumplings, or as a thickener in soups. The acorns can also be roasted and turned into a caffeine-free substitute for coffee.
Where you site your Hybrid Swamp x Bur Oak will dictate what plants would do best near this tree. For wet sites, we recommend planting Silky Dogwood, River Birch, Harlequin Blue Flag Iris, Musclewood, or Glossy Black Chokeberry.