Tree of the Month: Willow Oak

This month we will be highlighting a unique Oak species that is a great shade and specimen tree.

Botanical Name: Quercus phellos

Characteristics: A member of the red oak family, the Willow Oak is rightly named so due to its long and linear leaves, similar to the Weeping Willow. Foliage turns yellow, bronze, and dark red in the fall. Acorns are shorter than most other oak species and attract wildlife such as deer, squirrels, and birds. These trees are great shade trees and specimen trees. Willow Oak trees can grow over 60 feet high, sometimes found over 100 feet.

Hardiness Zone: Zones 5-9

Requirements: The Willow Oak prefers full sun and acidic soils. These trees thrive in wet conditions and poorly drained soils but are also drought tolerant. Make sure you plant the Willow Oak with plenty of room because they will grow large, fairly quickly.

Pest Susceptibility: Oaks of all species are susceptible to oak wilt, anthracnose, cankers, powdery mildew, leaf miners, galls, and borers. The Willow Oak is considered to have good resistance to pests and be a low maintenance and long-living tree.

The Willow Oak is a great addition to a landscape with sufficient room and sunlight and provides great shade and aesthetics.