Loveless, Brenda K.
Quercus phellos L.
Fagaceae (Beech Family)
Willow oak, a deciduous tree,
can attain 100 ft. but is usually shorter in cultivation. Its straight trunk supports a cone-shaped crown which becomes round at maturity. Long, fine-textured, narrow leaves with tiny awn at apex,
resembling the foliage of willows, turn from bright green in summer to yellow or russet in fall. Bark
is gray to reddish brown. Nut
nearly round, cup shallow.
A popular street and shade tree
with fine-textured foliage, widely planted in Washington, D.C., and southward. Its disadvantage, however, is that is becomes too large to be grown around houses. Readily transplanted because of shallow roots. Easily distinguishable from most other oaks by the narrow leaves without lobes or teeth. While superficially the foliage resembles that of willows, it is recognized as an oak by the acorns and the tiny bristle-tip. City squirrels as well as wildlife consume and spread the acorns.
Image Gallery: 3 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Light yellow or greenish brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MD , MS , MO , NJ , NY , NC , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , DC Native Distribution:
E. TX to n. FL, n. to s. IL & NJ Native Habitat:
Alluvial soils, moist forests, stream banks and bottomlands. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist clay or loamy, slightly acid, soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Acid-based
BenefitUse Ornamental: Fall conspicuous, popular shade tree.
Use Wildlife: Fruit-mammals, Fruit-birds, Nesting site, Cover, Substrate-insectivorous birds.
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: White M hairstreak, Horaces Duskywing.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: