Southern Live Oak
Quercus virginiana L., live oak is most commonly found on the lower Coastal Plain of southeastern United States. The tree can grow up to an average of 50 feet in height and 36-48 inches in diameter, but can have trunks over 70 inches in diameter. The bark is furrowed longitudinally, and the small acorns are long and tapered. The bark and twigs are dark to light grayish color and becomes darker with age. The leaves are thick, shiny, and dark green on top, lighter below. Small flowers are produced when new leaves are grown. The fruit which is the acorn is about 1 inch long cup, somewhat narrowed at the base. Root crowns and roots survive fire and sprout vigorously.
Once established, it withstands competition. They are extremely salt tolerant and this resistance may account for its dominance in many climax coastal forests in the northern part of its range. Dense stands of live oak reduce forage production for livestock. Live oak is extremely hard to kill because it sprouts vigorously from the root collar and roots.
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