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Common Name:

Willow Oak

Scientific Name:

Quercus phellos

Family Name:

Fagaceae

Description:

Willow Oaks are commonly planted deciduous shade trees. Pyramidal growth forms occur in youth, becoming rounded to upright oval with age. As oaks go, a rapid grower and fine textured. Better long-term form than with Quercus nigra.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree

Exposure:

sun

Flower Color:

Green, males in catkins

Blooming Period:

Spring

Fruit Characteristics:

Small acorns

Height:

60 ft to 80 ft

Width:

40 ft to 60 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Low Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: High Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

8.00
Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Better general landscape plant than Quercus nigra, but more prone to Fe chlorosis; dense shade and surface roots can cause difficulties with turfgrass culture.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.