The Live Oak Tree, Quercus virginiana, is one of the most desirable landscape and ornamental trees, and grows to 40-60 ft. in height, and the trunk can grow 6 ft. in diameter; also has a gigantic spread up to 100 ft. The bark is reddish brown to gray and deeply furrowed. The Live Oak Tree is the official state tree of Georgia, and the tree grows from Virginia to Florida and westward to Texas. The tree likes moist well-drained soil and is drought resistant once established. The Live Oak Tree tolerates auto exhaust fumes and grows as a stately, majestic avenue tree in southern cities.
Fagaceae Quercus virginiana
• Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, leathery, 2 to 5 inches long, oblong or elliptical in shape with an entire or spiny and revolute margin. The upper surface is lustrous, the lower is pale and pubescent. Generally, not bristle-tipped.
• Flower: Staminate flowers borne on catkins. Pistillate flowers borne on spikes. Appearing March through May.
• Fruit: Acorns are in clusters of 3 to 5, maturing in one season. The nut is dark in color, 3/4 inch long and covered 1/3 by the cap. The cap is bowl-shaped and warty, termed "turbinate" by Harlow et al. Maturing in September of the first year.
• Twig: Slender, gray and pubescent, with small, blunt, multiple terminal buds.
• Bark: Rapidly developing red-brown furrows with small surface scales. Later, becoming black and very blocky.
• Form: A medium-sized tree that can grow to massive proportions. Open-grown trees develop a huge rounded crown. The largest crowns may be 150 feet across.
• For recreational areas and patio plantings the Live Oak Tree provides valuable shade. The Live Oak Tree is a traditional shade tree to plant in the south, to shade houses and offices during the heat of summer. The Live Oak Tree is a very aggressive tree, and sometimes the tree can squeeze out even a mature longleaf pine tree. William Bartram, an early American explorer, in 1776 first described the Live Oak Tree as: "the expansive umbrageous Live Oak with its awesome veneration." Families enjoy the shade of giant Live Oak Trees planted at the coastal islands, where in the deep south the Spanish moss drapes romantically from Live Oak Trees throughout the year.
Live Oak Tree
St. Simsons Island Live Oaks