Willow Oak - Quercus phellos
Willow Oak Tree is a member of the mighty oak family and stands out with its willow-like leaves. In the spring its spear-shaped foliage appears with a light green color, and in the summer the foliage becomes dark green before turning shades of yellow and red in the fall. It is often found along streams and growing on lowland floodplains.
The willow oak can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 5-9. It is considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree, featuring a spreading canopy that blocks sunlight while adding visual interest to landscaping. Because of its stunningly noticeable appearance, along with size, and relatively fast growth, the willow oak is often planted along streets and in parks as well as golf courses. Its height at maturity is around 40-60 feet and it has a spread of 30-40 feet. The willow oak's medium growth rate gives it a yearly height increase of 13 to 24 inches. The willow oak's soil preference is acidic, wet, and clay soils. It tolerates poorly drained soil and is more easy to transplant than most oaks. The spear-shaped leaves of the willow oak are up to 5 inches long and have a tiny bristle at the tip. In its youth the willow oak grows in a pyramidal shape and in maturity at maturity its in a rounded shape.
The willow oak produces acorns that serve as a food preference for squirrels, quail, and whitetail deer. The great color, fast growth, and beautiful leaves make the willow oak a wonderful sight and a popular tree for horticulture planting. These trees are massively planted in the U.S. South (in areas such as Atlanta and Washington, D.C.)and can be found along roads and featured at malls.