oak, often called water oak or pin oak, may be found statewide
except on higher slopes and in the mountains. It is more commonly
found in lowlands and along the borders of rivers and swamps
but often grows on rich, sandy uplands. The best quality trees
grow on bottomland soils, where they frequently become 80 to
100 feet tall and reach diameters of 3 feet and more. Willow
oak is a beautiful and long-lived tree. It is widely planted
for roadsides, lawns and parks.
Willow oak is named for its willow-like leaves. The leaves are
2 to 5 inches long, narrow, smoothed-edged and tipped with bristle
points. The light yellowish-brown or greenish-brown acorns are
small (1 /2-inch long) with a thin, flat, scaly cup.
Willow oak may be almost evergreen in the southernmost portions
of its range.
The young bark generally is smooth and reddish brown. As it
ages, it becomes almost black and is slightly roughened and
divided by narrow ridges. The small branches spread into an
attractive crown that is comparatively narrow and often conical
with a round-topped head.
The wood is sold as red oak. It is heavy, strong, rather coarse-grained,
light brown tinged with red and is not durable when exposed
to the weather. Its lumber is used locally for crossties, rough
construction where great strength is required and in general