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Quercus phellos is often confused with:
Salix babylonica Salix babylonica
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Quercus rubra Quercus rubra
Quercus alba Quercus alba
Quercus falcata Form

Quercus phellos

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
KWER-kus FEL-ohs
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Willow Oak is a native deciduous tree that may grow 50 to 80 feet tall but can reach up to 100 feet tall. It has a nice balanced rounded form that has made it a popular tree in the southeast USA. It prefers fun sun to light shade in acidic, moist to occasionally wet, well-drained loams but tolerates a wide range of soils. It is drought tolerant once established. Willow Oak is fast-growing and starts producing acorns at age 15-20 years. This tree is a high-value wildlife tree for birds and mammals.

Use this tree as a shade tree in a large yard or park or a street tree but be sure to give it plenty of room to grow. 

Fairly disease and pest resistant. Root rot, borers and trunk canker and orange-striped oakworm are potential problems. Chlorosis due to iron-deficiency occurs on high pH soil.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#birds#shade tree#songbirds#rain garden#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#native tree#salt tolerant#cover plant#low maintenance#host plant#ducks#air pollution tolerant#street tree#playground#host#standing water#wet sites#pond margins#small mammals#food source#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#NC native#black bears#wild turkeys#deer resistant#woodpeckers#acorns#host tree#quail#children's garden#fire resistant#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#food source fall
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    phellos
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA. Found in all southeastern states; starting from eastern Texas towards the east coast, south to northern Florida and stopping northward at southern New Jersey.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a host plant for the Banded Hairstreak, Edward's Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, White-M Hairstreak, Horace's Duskywing, Juvenal's Duskywing butterflies and many moths. Its acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, songbirds, ducks, small mammals, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, quail and black bears.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Wildlife Nesting
    Edibility:
    Acorns (nuts) are edible after tannins are leached or boiled out.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The 1/2 inch long rounded fruits are acorns with a bowl-like cap that is striated with brown and black bands. Acorns are come singly or in pairs.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Yellowish-green male flowers as long catkins. Female flowers in short spikes.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    4-5 inch long green leaves are 1 inch wide and willow-like. Bristle tipped at the apex. Fall color is non-showy yellow-brown to red-brown. Leaves are simple, alternate, slender, smooth-edged and light green and shiny above while paler below with visible venation.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    The bark is gray-brown with shallow ridges and furrows. Bark is rough and divided into narrow ridges as the tree ages.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Smooth/Hairless
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Cluster of terminal buds
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Branches and larger twigs are light gray to medium gray and relatively smooth, while small twigs are pale brown and smooth with scattered white lenticels.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Pollution
    Salt
    Wet Soil
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Stomach pain, constipation and later bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Seeds