This is the WILLOW OAK. The willow oak tree is a common shade tree for landscaping. Although willow oaks have no relation to willow trees, willow oaks do like to soak up lots of water similar to the willow tree. Even though the willow oak thrives in floodplains near streams or marshes, the trees are also drought tolerant.
This medium to large-size tree can grow from 30 to 100 feet tall but are most commonly found to be heights of 60 to 70 feet. Their narrow willow-like leaves are 2 to 8 inches long and have a bristle-like hair at the end of each leaf which is characteristic of oak leaves. Its bark is thick, dark, and shallowly furrowed. Willow oaks produce small acorns which are one-half to 1 inch in length and are very attractive to squirrels and chipmunks.
Willow oaks range from New York to Florida and west to Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
The willow oak is a valuable landscape addition in cities due to its ability to tolerate harsh urban environments. If you take a stroll in Washington DC, you will see many willow oak trees around the city. This tree is relatively pest free and no serious diseases affect it. Interestingly, the willow oak was the favorite tree of our 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson.