Weather in much of the Midwest can best be described as “extreme.” Summer temperatures often reach triple digits, winter can feature days or weeks with low temps of 0 degrees. Flooding isn’t unusual. Heavy snowfalls and ice storms are on the menu most winters. Add in tornadoes, windstorms and rainy weather caused by hurricanes making landfall on the Gulf Coast and the extensive menu of meteorological extremes for the Midwest is complete.
While the variable and difficult to predict weather in the Midwest keeps things interesting, it also poses challenges when it’s time for homeowners to choose which species of trees to plant. With the goal of assisting farmers, gardeners and anyone interested in growing grass, crops, flowers or trees in mind, the United States Department of Agriculture has developed a regularly updated “Plant Hardiness Zone Map” which divides the U.S. into several zones, based on temperatures, rainfall, weather and soil conditions.
Virtually anyone interested in planting or growing anything can refer to the map, determine in what zone they plan to plant and make decisions on what trees, grasses, crops or flowers to plant. Unsurprisingly, much of Missouri and southern Illinois are considered “transition zones,” which means these areas get weather more common to the north as well as weather associated with more southern states. Think “Chicago winters” and “Nashville in July.”
So What Tree Species Thrives In Our Transition Zone?
These transition zone characteristics make our area challenging for trees that like cool weather with significant rainfall. But our conditions also may be too cold and wet for species that can’t handle heavy rains and below-zero temperatures.
Our transition zone conditions call for a tough, durable, hardy tree. And a great example of that is the Swamp White Oak.
Why Is The Swamp White Oak Thrive In The Midwest?
The Swamp White Oak is a tough, adaptable tree that is known for its ability to handle wet soil and can survive flood conditions. On the other hand, these hardy trees can handle high temperatures and periods of low rainfall. Cold temperatures and harsh winter conditions aren’t generally a problem for the Swamp White Oak. In short, this specie can endure the worst conditions found in the Midwest.
The Swamp White Oak: Fast Growth
The Swamp White Oak is a fast-growing species and can easily grow from root to more than 25 feet in just 14 or 15 years. Fully mature, these oaks can reach 60 to 80 feet in height with trunks measuring two to three feet in diameter. They’re also a long-lived species, living as long as 300 years in some cases.
While it’s a tough and adaptable tree, capable of growing well in a wide range of soil and weather conditions, Swamp White Oaks like heavy amounts of sunlight and will grow fastest in sunny locations.
The Swamp White Oak Is An Attractive Choice For Homeowners
With its versatility and hardy nature, the Swamp White Oak can be a great choice for homeowners in the Midwest for reasons beyond its ability to handle extremely variable weather.
It’s a low maintenance tree, that will benefit from watering during extremely dry periods, but for the most part can tolerate hot summer weather with weeks between rainstorms. They also have no problem with heavy spring rains. These trees are also strong, with thick trunks that don’t split easily even in windstorms. Like most tree species, pruning is a good idea, though they can and do grow well even with little care.
As they mature, they develop large crowns, making them excellent shade trees that can span up to 50 feet in width.
Is The Swamp White Oak Right For Your Landscaping Needs? Consult With The Experts At Hansen’s Tree Service Today!
Our certified arborists are experts at selecting the trees, shrubs and plants that best meet your landscaping objectives. They have a combined decades of experience in helping home and business owners select species that will thrive on their property, adding functional beauty at every turn.