Product: Live Oak
Scientific Name: Quercus virginiana
Full Grown Size: Height of 40–80′ and a spread of 60–100′ at maturity.
Lifespan: 50 to 150+ years.
Soil condition: Acidic loam, the trees accept most types of soil, including sand and clay. They grow in alkaline or acidic soil, wet or well-drained.
Light Requirements: Shade/part sun and in full sun.
Water requirements: 1 gallon 1 quart of water each morning for the first two weeks and 1 to 2 gallons of water every other day for the next two months. Cut back to once per week for the remainder of the growing season. Skip a day or two if the soil is muddy.
USDA Zones: Hardiness Zones 7 through 10.
Leaves: Evergreen, thick, shiny, dark green top, lighter below.
Flowers: Male and female borne in separate catkins on a tree.
Fruit: Acorns, 1″ long, cup narrow at the base.
Twigs: Gray/white to brown, brittle, smooth as aged.
Bark: Gray and smooth while young, darker, and furrowed with age.
Think you haven’t seen a live oak? Think again. This magnificent tree is one of the most prominent trees seen all throughout Texas and other southern states. Live Oaks are hardy and drought tolerant trees with a long life expectancy. We’re talking 150+ years! Legend has it, wild west travellers passing through Texas would bury their treasure under a Live Oak on their journey, because they knew these trees were long lasting landmarks.
With the growth of your Live Oak you will see its trunk become large and incredibly hard. This allows the tree to withstand severe winds and storms, unlike other trees like the Sycamore. To give your Live Oak a headstart in its early years, it’s best to plant these trees in well draining soils but be careful to stay away from overly sandy soils. Live Oaks have a high heat tolerance (yay!) and medium to low water requirements, for those of you who may forget a watering round or two. The Live Oak has small gray-green leathery leaves that are evergreen except when it reaches the more northern zone (ex. Zone 7a). This is of the many trees that produce acorns, which usually remain small, about an inch or so. The primary liability of owning a Live Oak is its susceptibility to the oak wilt fungus. However this is only in certain varieties of live oak such as the Escarpment Live Oak. It is common to see ball moss or spanish moss on the branches of a Live oak tree, neither of which are to be any cause of concern as they are not parasitic. These exceptional trees have reached their prime when their crown spreads up to twice its height. This makes for excellent shade, great picnic areas, and treehouse spots!