Amazing Facts About the Live Oak Tree

The majestic live oak tree (Quercus virginiana) is one of the world's most eye catching and fascinating species of tree and it is located throughout the southern United States including St. Augustine, Palm Coast, and Ormond Beach, Florida. If you have one of these incredible species in your landscape design already, you most likely have an appreciation for its visual impact as well as its maintenance challenges.

Including new live oak saplings in a landscape design are like making investments for the long term: they may not look as enticing in the beginning as they most certainly will in a few decades. Professional landscape designers will discuss all the things you need to know about incorporating potentially beautiful live oaks into your design, or designing around their already established presence. Keep in mind these facts regarding this native tree:

-There are other species of live oak, but the southern live oak is the most well known and was the first to be given that name. Live oaks indicate the evergreen types of oak tree (the ones that do not lose their leaves in the fall, as opposed to deciduous).

-Live oak is a huge, sprawling tree that reaches heights of 65 feet to 85 feet at maturity and has been known to live 500 years or longer.

-Live oak is the southern symbol of strength and the state tree of Georgia.

-Live oak trees require very little watering when first planted and when it reaches four to five feet tall, supplemental watering is no longer necessary.

-Live oaks are one of the heaviest native American hardwoods, weighing 55 pounds per cubic foot when air dry. Its strong, dense wood explains why these trees have outlasted so many Florida hurricanes.

-Live oaks support many types of epiphytic (air) plants, including Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) and resurrection fern (Polypodium polypodioides). These plants do not harm the tree in any way and add to its beauty.

-The large amount of acorns produced by the live oak are food for wild turkeys, wood ducks, jays (including the threatened Florida scrub jay), quails, whitetail deer, raccoons, squirrels, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and black bears among others.

-Bulow Creek State Park in Ormond Beach is one of the largest remaining stands of southern live oak forests in Florida. Within its boundaries is the Fairchild Oak, one of the largest and oldest live oak trees in the South.

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