Willow Oak

Quercus phellos

Description:


The willow oak is unique in appearance with its blade-like leaves. Tree shape resembles that of pin oak, with downward-sloping lower branches when grown in the open. Acorns are very small and bitter, but are a good food source for wildlife especially in areas where willow oak dominates the canopy.

Distribution:


Southeastern US, ranging from southeastern Oklahoma up to southern New Jersey, south to northern Florida.


Distribution Map

Habitat:


Bottomlands, poorly drained upland areas, swamps. Adaptable to a wider variety of habitat; very popular in landscaping.

Leaf:


Oblong, very narrow, with no lobes; resembling the leaf of a willow tree.

Willow Oak

Bark:


Light to dark gray, ranging from smooth to coarsely fissured.

Willow Oak

Acorn:


Small (1/2") with brown stripes when ripe; shallow cap covering about 1/4 of the nut.

Willow Oak

Gallery

Look-alike oaks:


Pin Oak - tree shape, bark, and habitat are similar; however, pin oak has a lobed leaf typical of most red oaks.


Water Oak - bark and habitat similar; leaf shape of willow oak is more narrow and blade-like while water oak leaves are broader at the apex.


Shingle Oak - both species have non-lobed leaves; however, shingle oak leaves are broader, shaped more like that of laurel. Willow oak leaves are very narrow.

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