Willow Oak - Quercus phellos
Beech Family (Fagaceae)
- Native habitat: New York south to Florida, west to Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
- Growth habit: Pyramidal when young, becoming rounded at maturity.
- Tree size: Growing fast for an oak, it can reach a height of 40 to 60 feet with a spread of 30 to 40 feet or more.
- Flower and fruit: Female flowers are inconspicuous; male catkins are pendulous. The small, ½-inch acorn is topped by a shallow cap.
- Leaf: The long, narrow leaves of this willow-type oak are light green in spring, dark green in summer and yellow to russet-red in fall. The leaf is tipped by a bristle.
- Hardiness: Winter hardy to USDA Zone 5.
Willow oak is an excellent large shade tree. Its fine texture contrasts with the coarseness of most other red oaks. It is one of the best oaks for avenue plantings or large residences. Willow oak is a fast-growing oak that transplants easily and is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions.