Willow Oak
Quercus phellos L.

Willow Oak: Full Size

Also known as Pin Oak or Peach Oak.

Mature Size: 50 to 80 feet and reach 1 to 2½ feet in diameter.

Form: Oblong crown with many slender branches; some dead lower branch stubs may persist.

Habitat: Lowlands, river and swamp borders, and rich, sandy uplands.

Leaves

Alternate, simple, 2 to 5 inches long, narrow, smoothed-edged, tipped with a bristle .

Flowers

Males on slender yellow-green catkins; females on very short spikes; both appearing with the leaves in spring.

Fruit

¼ to ½ inch tan acorn, one fourth covered by a thin, flat, scaly cap.

Bark

On young trees, smooth and reddish brown; on older trunks, darker brown to nearly black, slightly rough, and divided by narrow ridges.

Twigs

Slender, smooth, olive-brown; clustered end buds small, reddish brown and sharp-pointed.

Values and Uses

The wood is heavy, strong, rather coarse-grained and light brown tinged with red. Sold as red oak, it is used for crossties, rough construction and pulpwood. The tree produces good acorn crops, making it a valuable and dependable wildlife food source. Willow oak is long lived and fast growing, and it is widely planted as a landscape tree.

Did You Know?

Willow oak may be almost evergreen in the southernmost portions of its range.