Live oaks are large, picturesque trees that grace many Southern yards with deep, inviting shade.
These stately trees can grow up to 60 feet tall, with a spread of up to 100 feet. With the potential for a six-foot-diameter trunk, they need plenty of room to expand. They usually have many curved trunks and branches, and can live for hundreds of years if planted in a fitting location.
Live oaks are tough trees that will grow vigorously with plentiful moisture in well-drained soil. They need regular pruning when young in order to develop a strong branch structure for wind resistance.
The branches of live oaks are often draped with gray tangles of Spanish moss, but don't worry—these epiphytes don't harm the trees and don't need to be removed.
- Florida Forest Trees: Live Oak
- Florida Plant ID: Live Oak
- Landscape Plants: Highrise™ Live Oak
- Native to Florida: Live Oak
- Quercus virginiana 'Cathedral'
- 50 Common Native Plants Important in Florida's Ethnobotanical History
- Live Oak Overkill? (PDF)
- Standout Tree Selections
- Q&A: Wooly Oak Aphid (PDF)
- Quercus virginiana: Southern Live Oak
- The Value of Oaks to Wildlife
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- Live Oak--Clemson (SC) Cooperative Extension
- Live Oak Care Important, Fall Through Winter--eXtension
- "Marbles" in Your Trees Galling You?--Naples (FL) News
- New Live Oak Cultivar Tackles Its Size Issue--Marco (FL) Eagle
- PLANTS Profile: Quercus virginiana Mill., Live Oak--USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Quercus virginiana--Floridata.com
- Quercus virginiana--Smithson Marine Station at Fort Pierce
- Quercus virginiana Fact Sheet--Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources