Quercus alba 'Laura'
Philippe de Spoelberch bought this white oak in 1984 at Esveld nursery in the Netherlands. In 1988, it was planted on the Magnolia Meadow as one of the first trees of the Arboretum collection. Throughout the years, it has become a wonderful tree that surprises us every year with its unusual dark purple to wine-red autumn colour. The leaf of this tree is remarkably large (up to 30cm) and irregularly lobed. The lower leaf surface is pale and matte. Dirk Benoit, of Pavia nursery in Belgium, propagated this tree and gave it the name ‘Laura’ after Laura Wester, secretary of the Belgian Dendrology Society and staff member of Arboretum Wespelaar. Quercus alba originally grows in the Southeastern United States and can reach a height of 45 meters. The wood is used, amongst other things, to make barrels in which Bourbon Whiskey is matured and which adds the typical vanilla flavor of this whiskey.