Willow Oak

Quercus phellos

Copyright, Arboretum, Salisbury University

Willow Oak is a large tree, growing up to 120 feet tall. Its trunk can be several feet wide.

This oak looks different from other oaks because of its leaves. Instead of having wide leaves with lobes, Willow Oak has many slender leaves like a willow. Leaves are green and up to five inches long, but only about an inch wide. You can tell its an oak and not a willow, because the leaves do not have teeth, and because there is a tiny bristle (like a hair) at the tip. Willow Oak leaves turn pale yellow in the Fall.

Willow Oaks grow in forests with other oaks, but are usually seen along streams or in marshes.

Copyright, Arboretum, Salisbury University

Hugh Wilson

Willow Oaks have two different flowers, male and female. The male flowers are easiest to recognize, because they are long yellowish-green catkins which hang down.

The fruit of this tree, like all oaks, is an acorn. Willow Oak acorns are about 1/2 inch long, with a greenish-brown saucer.

The bark of this tree is grayish-brown and older trees have furrows (deep wrinkles).

Copyright, Auburn University

Copyright, Arboretum, Salisbury University

Some other plants found growing near Willow Oaks, include: White Oak, Black Oak, pines, Sweetgum, Yellow Poplar, American Elm, Red Maple, American Hornbeam, hawthorns, Greenbrier, Wild Grape, Trumpet Creeper, and Poison Ivy.

Animals that eat Willow Oak acorns include: Blue Jay, Wild Turkey, Wood Duck, Mallard, Red-headed Woodpecker, White-tailed Deer, squirrels, Common Crow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Meadow Vole, White-footed Mouse, Raccoon, Red Fox, Virginia Opossum, and Northern Bobwhite.

Deer also eat young trees, along with Beaver and Eastern Cottontail.

Many animals use these trees for shelter, cover, and nesting.

Willow Oak is affected by the same fungi as other oaks, including Witches' Butter, Crowded Parchment, and Honey Mushrooms.

Several climbing vines become parasites of these trees including Poison Ivy and Trumpet Creeper.

Copyright, Mark Brand, UConn Plant Database

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Blue Jay

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Sweetgum

Honey Mushroom Pa

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Black Rat Snake

White Oak

Witches' Butter Pa

Eastern Chipmunk

White-breasted Nuthatch

Black Oak

Crowded Parchment Pa

Common Crow

Raccoon

Virginia Pine

Poison Ivy Pa

White-breasted Nuthatch

Common Crow

Red Maple

Trumpet Creeper Pa

Virginia Opossum

Virginia Opossum

Green Hawthorn

Japanese Honeysuckle Pa

Meadow Vole

Carolina Chickadee

Poison Ivy

Artist's Conk Pa

White-tailed Deer

Wood Duck

Yellow Poplar

Common Greenshield C

Wood Duck

True Katydid

American Elm

Dogwood Borer Pa

Beaver

Tufted Titmouse

Trumpet Creeper

Mallard

Eastern Hercules Beetle

American Hornbeam

Wild Turkey

Polyphemus Moth

Greenbrier

Carolina Wren

Dogwood Borer

Wild Grape

Raccoon

Bald-faced Hornet

Loblolly Pine

Northern Bobwhite

Eastern White Pine

Tufted Titmouse

Japanese Honeysuckle

Red Fox

Green Hawthorn

True Katydid

Buttonbush

Eastern Hercules Beetle

Virginia Snakeroot

Dogwood Borer

Relationship to Humans:

People use Willow Oak for lumber and pulp (paper). It is often planted on lawns as a shade tree, but it should not be planted too close to a house, because its root system can cause damage to driveways, sidewalks and plumbing.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Magnoliopsida
ORDER
Fagales
FAMILY
Fagaceae
GENUS
Quercus
SPECIES
Quercus phellos

QUICK LINKS

Organism Menu
Home
Glossary
Student Activities
Relationships
Classification Info
How to Use This Site
Bibliography