A favorite nesting tree for plenty of animals, the water oak enjoys growing near rivers and lakes but can be planted in other types of soil. With proper care and maintenance these trees can grow to a magnificent height and provide significant value to the area.
Alternate, simple, extremely variable in shape, may have zero to 5 lobes; margins may be entire or bristle-tipped
Male flowers borne on catkins; female flowers borne on spikes, appearing with the leaves
Acorns: 1/2 inch long, very dark in color, and a third covered by a flattened cap with appressed scales
Slender, red-brown; buds short, sharp-pointed, angular, red-brown, multiple at the tip
Dark and quite tight, smooth when young and later with irregular rough patches; much later developing wide, scaly ridges
Slender bole and rounded crown with ascending branches
Commonly grows to around 100 feet tall
Native to the southeastern United States, from south Virginia to central Florida and as far west as Texas
Medium-sized deciduous tree
Leaves turn yellow in the fall
Adapted to wet, swampy areas, but can also tolerate other well-drained sites and even heavy, compacted soils
Very intolorent of shade
Willow oak, laurel oak, shingle oak, Darlington oak
Pests and Diseases
Generally no serious pests, but anthracnose and mushroom root rot can cause problems if not treated promptly.
The tree is relatively short-lived compared to other oaks and may live only 60 to 80 years.