Conventional quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of a mapping family is carried out to generate molecular tools for development of compact interspecific hybrid palms that can be planted more closely for higher yields per unit land area. Genetic maps were constructed for an interspecific backcross two (BC2) oil palm population using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. A total of 1744 markers were mapped onto 16 linkage groups, spanning 1499.5 cM with an average marker interval of 0.86 cM. Using empirical genome and chromosome-wide thresholds, QTL analysis yielded a number of significant associations with vegetative characters for palm compactness. Subsequent QTL analysis revealed two major and two putative QTL linked to rachis length and petiole cross-section, two important characters for palm compactness. The QTL identified are an important step towards the implementation of marker assisted selection (MAS), enabling breeders to make early informed decisions on improving interspecific hybrids.