A white oak tree can live for centuries. As a shade tree, it is popular because of its spreading canopy that filters out sunlight. As trees go, this kind matures at a slow to medium pace with height increases of up to 24 inches per year. While happiest in well-drained, neutral to the slightly acidic soil, they can adapt to other conditions. This includes occasionally wet soil and moderate drought. Since white oaks develop sturdy branches, they won’t succumb easily to stormy weather. They’ll also put on a spectacular show for you in the fall with leaves that turn vibrant shades of red and burgundy.