Keystone Value: The genus Quercus (Oak) supports over 500 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars, providing food for a variety of birds and mammals.
Willow Oak gets its name from its leaves, which are long, narrow, and willow-like instead of wide and lobed like other Oak trees. This mid sized tree is fine-textured and forms an attractive rounded/oval habit at maturity, making it a popular ornamental and shade tree. In the fall, the leaves turn a brown- to orange-yellow. Willow Oak prefers average, medium to wet, well-drained soil, and once established it can tolerate heat, drought, and stress. Like other oaks, the Willow Oak has excellent wildlife value. Not only is it a keystone species that hosts hundreds of caterpillars, but it also provides habitat and food for a variety of birds and mammals.