Willow oak

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Quercus phellos
WILLOW OAK

Fagaceae
E. North America

Location: map coordinates F-34 (east side of Price Building),
N 39°11'13'' W 75°32'24''

Planting history: presently unknown. Very large tree.

Description:
  • large deciduous tree
  • etymology: Quercus = the Latin name; phellos = from Greek name for cork oak (Q. suber)
  • leaves simple, alternate; narrow and willow-like, not lobed as in most of our other oaks; shiny above, and dull paler green beneath
  • monoecious (separate male and female flowers on same tree); flowers tiny; male flowers in drooping catkins, female flowers inconspicuous
  • fruit is an acorn (develops from ovary of female flower)
  • in the “red/black oak group”: leaf lobe with bristle-tip (single terminal bristle-tip in this species); acorn matures in 2 years, relatively bitter and inedible unless processed
  • end buds clustered (typical of oaks)
  • popular street and park tree; tolerates both sun and shade; fast-growing
  • natural habitat moist soils, swamps
  • native distribution mostly southern; north to southeastern Pennsylvania, and Long Island NY

Native species, State Rank S5 (very common) on coastal plain of Delaware

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