Willow Oak (Quercus phellos)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 50 to 100 feet (15-30m)
Plant Spread: 30 to 50 feet (9-15m)
Leaves: Good fall color
Deciduous
Fruit: Other: small acorns
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Green
Yellow
Other: Pendant, yellow-green catkins
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Edible Parts: Fruit
Dynamic Accumulator: K (Potassium)
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: at 40 degrees F for 30 to 60 days
Sow in situ
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Monoecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
looking up trunk in autumn

Photo gallery:
Location: Downingtown PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-11-14looking up trunk in autumn
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-11-14upper reaches of tree in fall
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Location: Downingtown PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-11-14fall foliage and branching
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Location: Downingtown PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-11-14crown in fall color
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-07-22two mature trees behind a Wawa store
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-11-14full-grown tree in fall color
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-11-14full-grown tree in fall color
By ILPARW
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Date: 2007-09-11Credit Michael Wolf
By admin
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-07-02full-grown tree in school yard
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2006-11-05autumn color on full-grown tree
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-11-22mature tree with some fall leaves left
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-07-22the summer leaves
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Location: Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in DelawareDate: 2016-10-13wild tree along path
By ILPARW
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Location: Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in DelawareDate: 2016-10-13mature wild tree
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-07-02full-grown trunk
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-07-02trunk, bark, foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-01-31full-grown tree in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: July in 2008full-grown tree in summer
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 11, 2017 7:54 PM

Willow Oak is a large, beautiful tree that is native from southeast New York & New Jersey down to northern Florida to east Texas & Oklahoma up into Missouri, growing in bottomlands and along water courses, ponds, and lakes, growing in moist to draining wet soils. It likes acid soils, definitely pH 6 to about 6.7, but the range is probably a little greater than that. Its shiny leaves are simple and not lobed, to 5.5 inches long x 1 inch wide, looking sort of like a willow leaf that turns golden or orange brown in autumn. It grows about 1.5 to 2 feet/year. It should live at least 150 years and often over 200 years. It bears small acorns to about 1/2 inch long with a thin saucer-like cap every two years like other members of the Black Oak subgroup. It makes an excellent street or yard tree. Its root system is really fibrous and it does not really make a taproot, though nurseries will root prune it in the field for better success. It is offered by a good number of southern nurseries. I've seen wild specimens growing in wetland areas of southern and central Delaware. I've seen some great, large, planted specimens in landscapes in southeast Pennsylvania. If one grows this species in Zone 5, one must make sure that the selection of stock is that hardy, as I have never seen Willow Oak in my native northern Illinois, though Morton Arboretum is supposed to have some in their Oak Collection.

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Posted by Dodecatheon3 (Northwest Arkansas - Zone 6b) on Sep 17, 2015 5:58 PM

Willow Oak's preferred growing environment is moist bottom land, but it will tolerate a range of soils. Once established, it also tolerates drought.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Help needed choosing a shade tree near the house by ymg200 Apr 9, 2020 12:05 AM 9
Is this a red oak? by mozart007 Nov 13, 2019 5:30 PM 9
Can you ID the oak tree based on the acorn? New Jersey by crumpybumpy Nov 9, 2019 9:43 PM 4
do you know what kind of tree this is? by Gschnettler Jul 25, 2017 5:54 AM 4
Willow Oak (Quercus phellos); Oak tree in Texas #5 by wildflowers Sep 6, 2015 2:52 PM 7
Willow Oak (Quercus phellos); volunteer plant by Catmint20906 Jun 27, 2015 12:17 PM 11
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Oct 10, 2020 8:42 PM 133
Anyone recognize this one? by plantladylin Jul 14, 2012 8:34 AM 7

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