Often asked: What Is A Live Oak Tree?

Specifically, the term refers to the southern live oak (Quercus virginiana), a massive evergreen tree native to Cuba and the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains. It often grows to a height of 15 metres (50 feet) or more on hummocks and ridges but may be shrubby on barren coastal soils.

What environment does an oak tree need to live?

  • Oak trees thrive in regions with a Mediterranean climate – dry summers and wet winters – as well as arid desert-like regions and subtropical rain forests.

What is the difference between an oak tree and a live oak tree?

One main difference between a live oak and a run-of-the-mill oak is that a live oak is evergreen — almost. It does drop some leaves in the spring but quickly replaces them to keep that photosynthesis thing going. Oak is pretty tough to begin with, but live oak wood is especially hard.

What is considered a live oak?

Live oak or evergreen oak is any of a number of oaks in several different sections of the genus Quercus that share the characteristic of evergreen foliage. The name live oak comes from the fact that evergreen oaks remain green and “live” throughout winter, when other oaks are dormant and leafless.

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Where do live oak trees grow?

Live oak is found in the lower Coastal Plain of the Southeastern United States from southeastern Virginia south to Georgia and Florida including the Florida Keys; west to southern and central Texas with scattered populations in southwestern Oklahoma and the mountains of northeastern Mexico (4).

How do I identify a live oak tree?

There are many ways to identify a live oak tree. Live oak tree wood is yellowish-brown and is very strong and tough. Live oak trees are usually found with curved trunks and branches.

Why do they call it a live oak tree?

Live oaks derive their name from the fact that they are evergreen and because lumbered or injured trees send up many sprouts, which also produce sprouts if cut themselves.

How far should I plant a live oak tree from my house?

They should be 40 to 50 feet away from all other trees. Allow an additional 15 to 20 feet between the live oak and your home, driveway or any other structure. This allows for roots that may extend beyond the adult tree’s canopy.

How long does a live oak live?

Maturity Time Mature oaks usually reach about 80 feet in height with a branch spread of 170 feet in diameter, or 85 feet from trunk to branch tip in all directions. Once mature, live oak can live for several centuries, often up to 250 years, with a maximum lifespan of 500 years.

Is live oak poisonous?

Young live oak leaves are also poisonous. Both the leaves and the acorns are safe to touch, and must be ingested to be harmful. Once ingested, the toxin in the plant can cause symptoms that include stomach pain, constipation, bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst, and urination.

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How hard is live oak?

Rot Resistance: Live Oak has been rated as having very good resistance to decay, and has been used frequently in ship and boatbuilding. Though, due to its incredible density, (especially for an oak), Live Oak is harder to work with than other species of the Quercus genus.

How do you care for a live oak tree?

Prune out multiple leaders to leave one trunk, and eliminate branches that form sharp angles with the trunk. Caring for live oaks properly means pruning the trees each year for the first three years. Never prune in early spring or the first month of summer to avoid attracting the insects that spread oak wilt disease.

Will live oaks survive a hard freeze?

Many, if not all, live oaks will show signs of frost damage after a hard freeze. Like other plants, the main symptom will be brown, dead, or wilted leaves. Live oaks may show browning in patches or over a whole tree. Luckily, we expect most live oaks to recover from the freeze!

What does a Southern live oak tree look like?

Branches usually stem from a single trunk, which can grow to five or six feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) in diameter. Unlike most oak trees, which are deciduous, southern live oaks are nearly evergreen. Flowers of the southern live oak aren’t bright and showy like those of some other trees.

What does a live oak acorn look like?

The live oak has one-inch long, oblong shaped acorns that have a scaly cap. This scaly cap often sticks to the branch of the tree with only the acorn dropping to the ground. The water oak has a small round acorn about a half an inch in diameter with a wooly cap that falls attached to the acorn.

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How deep do live oak tree roots go?

The majority of oak tree roots grow in the top 18 inches (45 cm) of soil. These roots spread laterally from the tree, 3–7 times wider than the spread of the branches. The deepest root of the oak tree is the taproot, which typically grows straight down beneath the trunk to a depth of 3–5 feet (1–1.5 meters).

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