Penland Tree Farm

Willow Oak

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Willow oak grows mainly in bottomlands of the Coastal Plain from New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania south to Georgia and northern Florida; west to eastern Texas; and north in the Mississippi Valley to southeastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky and western Tennessee.

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. It has thick, smooth, light-reddish bark when young; which becomes roughened and divided into narrow ridges on older trees. 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. 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.