Willow Oak Tree - Quercus Phellos
Willow oaks - Quercus phellos
This beautiful tree has endurance. Part of the Beech family (Fagaceae); many people plant the Willow oak tree when an ornamental or shade tree is desired in their yard, or for the widespread use for outdoor landscaping of a shopping mall and urban roadways.
The native habitat for the Willow oak consists of most of the Eastern section of the U.S; stretching from the southern region of New York State, down to the Florida peninsula, and as far west as Texas. Sharing a relationship with the deciduous Red oak group, the Willow oak has unique features not shared by all oak trees. The Willow oak has a 2-5 inch narrow-shaped leaf and is bristle-tipped. The burst of springtime brings vibrant light-green leaves, with the summer sunlight turning them darker green, and russet-red in Autumn.
Although the average height is 60 feet, Willow oaks are capable of growing up to 120 feet. Willow oak trees can tolerate pollution and drought but will thrive in moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Full sunlight is preferable but easily survives in shady, urban areas. The root system is fibrous. The fibrous nature of the roots adds ease to transplanting the beloved Willow oak.
The male flowers are called catkins and are tassel-shaped. The role of the male catkin is to shed pollen to be carried by the wind to the inconspicuous female flowers. The fruit outcome of the wind-pollination are the acorns that mature every two years, which are ½ inch to 1 inch; a favorite meal for squirrels and chipmunks.
Willow oaks grow at a moderate pace of two feet within a calendar year. Beginning growth of a Willow oak tends to be pyramid-shaped. A mature version of the tree shows rounding out of its shape. Economically, the wood of a Willow oak is used for lumber, and the pulp is used for paper products.
Willow Oak features leaves that are more Willow-like than oak. Its foliage is lush and bright, shimmering green and fades to a soft palate of yellows and browns in the fall. It is classified as both an ornamental and shade type. A medium grower, the Willow Oak is drought tolerant and thrives in most conditions though it does prefer well-drained acidic soil. This nut-bearing tree provides visual interest year-round.