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Quercus phellos Quercus phellos

Common Name(s):

  • Willow Oak
Description

Quercus phellos, which is commonly called willow oak is a medium to large deciduous tree in the Fagaceae family.  It is in the red oak group that is noted for its oak shape, willow-like leaves, and relatively fast growth rate. The Willow oak typically grows 40-75’ tall with an oval to rounded crown but may reach 100’ in ideal conditions. Its bark is smooth, gray and tight on young trees and as the tree ages, irregular, rough ridges and furrows develop. The willow oak is not as messy as some oaks.  The small leaves are easy to clean up in fall.  This tree has a fibrous root system and is easy to transplant.   It is also tolerant of heat, drought, air pollution, standing water and is highly salt tolerant. 

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves:  Fall      Bloom:  Spring      Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall

 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Potential insect pests include cankerworms, scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner, galls, oak lace bugs, borers, and nut weevils.  Oaks are susceptible diseases such as chestnut blight, shoestring root rot, anthracnose, oak leaf blister, cankers, leaf spots, and powdery mildew.  This tree is highly susceptible to oak wilt.  In general willow oak has good resistance to pests and to be a low-maintenance, long-lived tree.  

 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#birds#shade tree#songbirds#rain garden#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#native tree#salt tolerant#wildlife tree#low maintenance#host plant#ducks#pollution#street tree#standing water#wet sites#small mammals#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#low flammability#black bears#wild turkeys#deer resistant#woodpeckers#acorns#host tree#quail#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#birds#shade tree#songbirds#rain garden#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#native tree#salt tolerant#wildlife tree#low maintenance#host plant#ducks#pollution#street tree#standing water#wet sites#small mammals#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#low flammability#black bears#wild turkeys#deer resistant#woodpeckers#acorns#host tree#quail#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    phellos
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern United States
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low 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:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    resistant to fire and mildly resistant to damage by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 60 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:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight (2-4 hrs) for only part of the day
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are rounded acorn cups (to 1/2” long).
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    The blooms of the Willow oak are an insignificant monoecious yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear on the Willow Oak in spring (April) as the leaves emerge. It often has alternate years of heavy bearing
  • 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
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The Willow Oak has alternate, simple, smooth-edged, bristle-tipped, narrow, green leaves (to 5” long and 1” wide) and are willow-like. The leaves turn an undistinguished yellow-brown or dull gold in fall
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    Its bark is smooth, gray and tight on young trees and as the tree ages, irregular, rough ridges and furrows develop.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Pollution
    Salt
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Messy
  • Poison:
    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