About the Zoo | Employment | Volunteer | Press

Willow Oak

Scientific Name

Quercus phellos

Origin

Found mainly through bottomlands and coastal plain areas of the eastern U.S. Found as far north as New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania south to Georgia and northern Florida.  As far west as eastern Texas and the Mississippi valley to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and southern Illinois. Also seen in southern Kentucky and western Tennessee.   

Habitat

An excellent tree for shade.  Thrives in moist, well-drained acidic soils.  Can tolerate full sun, pollution, and drought.  Found in transitional communities between swamps and upland forests. 

Growth Nature

A fast growing oak, it is tolerate of a wide range of growing conditions. Easily transplanted.  Can grow to between 80 – 120 ft. in height, with a spread of 50 – 70 ft.  Has a fibrous root system which doesn’t do well if covered with a lot of mulch. 

Points of Interest

  • Good tree for erosion control.

  • Acorns are prized by wildlife, including a variety of game animals, birds, squirrels, deer, turkey, wood-peckers and blue jays. 

  • Wood is used for lumber, construction materials, crossties and pulp.

  • Makes good ornamental or shade tree.