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Willow Oak Tree

Qurecus phellos

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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

Quercus phellos has many names, with the most common being willow oak, pin oak, peach oak and swamp chestnut. This is a tree that thrives in moist to wet soils and is often found flourishing alongside water courses, hence swamp chestnut. It’s a tree that offers many textures and colors throughout the year with its delicate willow-like leaves that display beautiful autumnal shades in fall, deep green foliage in summer and light green leaves in spring. It is ideally suited as a shade tree, but also offers a rich food source for a wide range of birds that will flock to your garden to eat its tiny and abundant acorns. Between February and May it displays small delicate flowers and soft, hairy pendulous catkins with the size and density of the tree appealing to many small animals like grackles, flickers and flying squirrels. A fast-growing and impressive tree, it is perfect for that touch of grandness along avenues and gracing the lawns and gardens of large residences.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
Mature Width 25-50
Mature Height 40-75
Soil Conditions Average
Sunlight Full Sun
Drought Tolerance Very Drought Resistant
Zones 5-9

Often we are given to focusing on the ground beneath our feet, or the space that occupies our eye line, when considering what to plant in our gardens, whether they are large or small. If you are lucky enough to have the room then trees can bring so much to the space around you as well as offering invaluable long term environmental benefits. After the first year or two, trees need little maintenance or pruning and usually look after themselves with just a little routine care. This also applies to Willow Oak, which tolerates transplanting very well.

If well-chosen and managed, their ultimate stature and spread is a wonderful asset to any garden or space, providing rich color, texture and scents with catkins, flowers and fruits that benefit wildlife of many shapes and sizes. The willow oak provides all of these things and is a common sight in much of the country due to its speed of growth and impressive size, and it also displays a delicate texture and subtle charm that tends to be lacking in many other oaks.

Growing Willow Oak Trees

The hardy nature of this tree means it is suited to many different areas, from well drained moist loams to poor drainage clays. That means it can thrive in various different soil environments but it does show a preference to medium wet, well drained soils in full sun. This said, Willow Oak adapts very well and can be equally at home in partial shade. It is also considered generally tolerant of urban pollution which expands the planting opportunities of this tree greatly. As is the case with all sizeable trees, consideration must be given to the proximity of houses, paths and roads when planting as ill thought out placement can cause future problems when roots and structures come to battle it out for space. Tree roots can be very persistent in laying claim to the space they require.

Benefits to Nature and Wildlife

Aside from the obvious benefits to be had from the pleasure of beholding trees in both country and urban environments, there is much to be said for the role they play in nature in areas where birds and mammals might otherwise struggle for food. Willow Oak provides food and shelter for a great many creatures.

As a Food Source

– Blue Jay
– Eastern Gray Squirrel
– Eastern Chipmunk
– Common Crow
– White-Breasted Nuthatch
– Virginia Opossum
– Meadow Vole
– White Tailed Deer

As Shelter

– Black Rat Snake
– Raccoon
– Carolina Chickadee
– Wood Duck
– Polyphemus Moth
– Tufted Titmouse

These are just a few examples of the richness this tree can bring to your environment, thanks to the high volume of acorns it produces and the relatively dense foliage that its narrow willow-like leaves provide as protection.

Growth Rate

As mentioned, the Willow Oak is an excellent shade tree and is one of the few that offers the ability to properly garden beneath; whether it be lawns or beds. Although the tallest recorded stands at an impressive 123 feet, under normal conditions you can expect around 60 feet and this is achieved at a faster rate than many other trees of its ilk, with up to two feet of growth expected per year in ideal conditions.

Care and Maintenance

It is relatively fuss free, but it is worth affording it some skilled pruning when young in order to encourage the development of a good crown. Large trees can often be the cause of much frustration with regards to raking and maintaining the ground beneath them as leaves drop, the Quercus phellos however provides leaf litter that not only avoids the need for raking but also makes for good mulch.

Planting Your Willow Oak

When planting young and small trees, care must be taken to protect the sapling from those animals that tend to feast on the delicate young foliage, such as deer. Consideration must also be given to the potential for standing water; although Willow Oak enjoys wet environments and, when outside of the urban environment, is most at home in wetlands and alongside canals, the roots themselves will not actually venture into standing or moving water. Permanent standing water can actually kill the root system so while wet soil is preferable good drainage is a must.

Native Location

The Willow Oak is native to bottom lands of the Coastal Plain from New Jersey and south-eastern Pennsylvania to Georgia and northern Florida; west to eastern Texas; and north in the Mississippi Valley to south-eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, south-eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky, and western Tennessee.

Adding Willow Oaks to Your Property

Overall, if you are looking for a highly attractive and interesting tree that will provide much needed shelter and food for a wide range of wildlife then Willow Oak is the ideal tree for any garden or space that will afford the room to grow and develop. Rich with color and interest, with stunning fall foliage and the ability to adapt to many environments, it comes highly regarded and recommended and will bring generations of joy.

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Willow Oak Tree

Qurecus phellos

1 Review
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