Willow Oak (Quercus phellos) is native to the eastern and central United States. It is most common in the South American and Eastern States in the USA. They are generally found bordering lakes and ponds.
Quercus phellos are known for their shady trees. Because it grows very fast and has a very high density, Due to the leaf and branches. It is suitable for planting in parks, roadsides, and large residential properties.
|Scientific Name:||Quercus phellos|
|Tree Size:||20–30 meters (65–100 ft) tall|
|Trunk diameter:||3–5 ft (1–1.5 m)|
|Dried Weight:||48 lbs / ft3 (770 kg / m3)|
|Janka Hardness:||1,460 lbf (6,490 N)|
|Color:||light to medium reddish-brown|
|Lifespan||About 100 years|
|Uses:||Cabinetry, furniture, interior trim|
Willow Oak Uses
- The bark of willow oak has been used as a painkiller, Fever, and swelling since ancient times.
- If we talk about the uses of oak wood. It has fair hardness (1,460 lbf (6,490 N)), it is also suitable for crossties, construction, pulp, and paper. Willow oak wood is medium weight and strong, Therefore it is also used for making bats and other sport parts.
- Willow oak’s lumber is very useful for landscaping around malls, shopping centers.
- The willow oak is one of the most popular trees for horticultural planting and common street trees along with many U.S. cities including Washington D.C.
- Willow oak along with good wood is also a tree that gives good acorns, which is a favorite as the food for squirrels and other forest animals.
Willow Oak Pros and Cons
- Its growth rate is pretty good. It grows about up to 60 cm, 2 ft a year. Therefore It is a sustainable wood. Customers can use it without any worry. Its needs can be easily fulfilled.
- It also grows well in floods. (But not much flooding like 3-4 times continuously). While other trees are not able to grow much in the water or floods area.
- The plant tolerates pollution, no serious insect or rot problems. It requires very little care.
- The willow oak is an ideal shade tree known for its ability to grow in urban conditions. It is a very popular street tree in many cities.
- It is used as a shady tree but it occupies a lot of space. Because the lower branches are much larger than the top branches. The lower branches are bent, so you may want to plan to remove the lower branches or leave extra space for them. Sometimes it becomes a problem for those walking on the side of the road.
- The willow oak tree needs a lot of water and nutrients when it is young. Therefore, it also absorbs moisture and nutrients from nearby trees. Therefore, it is not good for other trees around it.
- It cannot be used as firewood. Even after being hardwood, it does not weigh much, due to which it burns very quickly.
- Its leaves and fruits often fall from the strong wind, which can become a problem of cleaning for a moving road and parks.
Willow Oak Identification
Leaves: Leaves are generally thin and long. The leaf edge is smooth and the leaf position alternates. The length of the leaf is about 5–12 cm (2–4 3⁄4 in) long. In autumn, its leaves become red-orange and fall from the tree.
Bark: The bark is brown in color. Young willow oak trees have light brown bark. It turns dark brown with age and cracks in its bark grow with age.
Fruit: The fruit is an acorn. The length of the fruit is 8–12 mm (5⁄16–15⁄32 in) long. It is a favorite food for some small animals such as squirrels. The willow oak tree starts bearing fruit at the age of 15–17 years.
Growth habits: Pyramidal when young, becoming rounded and wider at maturity.
How to Plant a Willow Oak Tree?
To plant an oak tree in an urban or suburban environment, You need soil preparation for oak compared to other trees. Can easily make such soil, it is not rocket science. But there are some things to keep in mind.
Willow Oak does require acid soil with a pH of 6 or less. A high Ph value can spoil its roots. Soil can be prepared easily with some Pesticides and Nutrition. Willow Oak likes humus-rich, acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet, and clay soils. It grows well in full sun to half-shade.
New trees may need to be Organic or Natural Premium fertilizers in winter and mid-summer. Which helps in the growth of the tree.
The right place to plant Oak Tree
It is very important to choose a better place for oak. The oak tree is like a pyramid in the beginning and It becomes a round shape at maturity. Which requires enough space. Generally, its base branches are wider than the upper part.
The adult willow oak tree is 20–30 meters in length, so do not plant it under a low-height electric wire and under the roof. Willow oak trees take 2 years to mature, During this time it needs a lot of moisture.
Digging is also very important for the plant. Experts say that dig a hole comparing at least twice the size of the existing root ball of the tree. The soil should be well pressed from the root of the plant so that no air bubble is formed from the root.
Willow Oak for Firewood
Willow oak is not considered suitable as firewood. Because it is less in weight and its lumber is less in density. The wood of low density and weight burns quickly and leaves ash.
It is also not used as firewood because it produces lower heat. In other words, its BTU value is lower than other hardwoods. A British thermal unit (Btu) is a measure of the heat content of fuels or energy sources. While Pin Oak is better for firewood than Willow. Read Willow Oak vs Pin Oak | Which Oak is Best For Firewood?