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Native or Introduced to Illinois: native
Natural Habit in Illinois: along streams; around lakes and pondsLeaf: The leaves are simple, alternate, deciduous, elongated and slender, with smooth edges; they are light green and shiny above, dull and paler below with distinct venation.
Flower: Brown, faded flower color.
Fruit: The small, round, brown acorns are usually produced singly or in pairs with a shallow, saucer-shaped cap. The overlapping scales that make up the cap are thin, hairy, and dark red. There are about 462 acorns per pound.
Bark/Twig: It has thick, smooth, light-reddish bark when young; which becomes roughened and divided into narrow ridges on older trees.
Size/Form/Shape: Willow oak is a medium to large-sized tree that grows up to over 100 feet tall, with a trunk 3 to 6 feet in diameter.
Wildlife: Its acorn is relished by game animals and birds such as ducks, squirrels, deer, and turkey, blue jays and red-headed woodpeckers. Grackles, flickers, mice and flying squirrels utilize the tree itself.
Timber: The wood is used for lumber, crossties, construction and pulp.
Recreation and Beautification: Willow oak is widely planted as an ornamental and shade tree.
County Distribution Map for Illinois:
Sources for the Sullivan Middle School Tree Identification Guide were obtained though the use of the following sites:
- Illinois Plant Information Network (ILPIN) @ http://www.fs.fed.us/ne/delaware/ilpin/ilpin.html#Background
- List of Woody Plants Native or Naturalized in Illinois @ http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/~kenr/woody.html
- Tree Species @ http://ostermiller.org/tree/species.html
- Index to Eastern/Central Trees @ http://www.arborday.org/trees/ECtreelist.html
- ISU Forestry Extension Identification of Common Trees of Iowa @ http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Pages/tree/
- Key to Leaves of Virginia Trees @ http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/forsite/key/intro.htm
- List of Native Trees for Use Along Roadsides in Illinois @ http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/~kenr/treetable.html
- The PLANTS Database @ http://plants.usda.gov/
The information below is from the National Arbor Day Foundation. This information can be viewed in the original (source) form by visiting The National Arbor Day Foundation at http://www.arborday.org.
Sun Exposure: This oak does well in Full sun.
Soil Type: The Willow Oak grows in acidic, loamy, moist, clay, sandy, wet, well-drained soils. This tree is drought tolerant.
Moisture: Normal moisture requirement, but with some drought tolerance.
Growth Rate: This tree grows at a medium growth rate.
Hardiness Zones: 5 - 9
This oak can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map.