Landowner Fact Sheets

willow oak Quercus phellos play

Willow oak is commonly found along waterways and adjacent moist, rich bottomlands. It is useful for lumber and pulp products, and produces abundant acorn crops annually. Narrow, willow-like leaves, rapid growth, and easy transplanting have led to the use of willow oak as an ornamental.

range map Click to see more images. fall color

Willow oak is difficult to regenerate without the presence of saplings in the understory. Intolerant of shade, willow oak can be regenerated by clearcuts, seed-trees, and large group selections. Stump sprouting will compliment regeneration.

Willow oak is commonly found on alluvial soils, with better growth on well drained loams.


A medium sized tree up to 80 feet tall that forms a dense oblong crown when open grown; lower branches do not readily self-prune.

Timber Value
Willow oak is used for lumber and pulp products.

Wildlife Value
Willow oak is a major food supplier for a variety of species.
Attracts mice, squirrels, ducks, bluejays, red-headed woodpeckers, flickers, turkeys, deer

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
Willow oak is very widely planted as an ornamental throughout the South. Willow oak has good pulping characteristics and, for this purpose, can be harvested young.

Latin Meaning
Quercus: Latin name / phellos: Greek "phellos" (corky - bark has rough, corky ridges)

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.