Quercus virginiana

Accession Count: 195
Common Name: Heritage Live Oak
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Family Name: Fagaceae
Botanical Name: Quercus virginiana
Sub Species:
Variety:
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Cultivar:
Characteristics: This massive, long-lived evergreen tree reaches an average height of 50 feet with a spread of 150 feet or more. The lower limbs sweep down to the ground and then curve upward. The branches typically hold Spanish moss, resurrection fern, and other epiphytes. The dark red-brown to gray bark is deeply furrowed. The trunk can grow to more than six feet in diameter. The thick, leathery, oval, dark green leaves are about one and a half long to four inches long and two inches wide. The leaves are also gray-green and hairy beneath. The flowers typically hang down and are two to three inches long. The flowers form in the spring when the new leaves grow. The acorns that follow are small, long, tapered, and dark brown to black. The acorns mature the following September and then fall before the end of December.
Compound: Que vir
Geographic Origin: Eastern North America
Ecozone Origin: Nearctic
Biome Origin:
Natural History: This species of oak is considered by many to be an emblem of the Old South, as it was planted extensively on plantations and at homes all over the region. This is also the official state tree of Georgia.
Cultivation Notes:  Little care is needed, but some corrective pruning may be desirable and should be done in winter. Unique bark character. Bark produces the cork.
Ethnobotany: The acorns can be used by humans and are an important food source for wildlife. The wood is heavy and strong but not used much commercially. One variety of the species has been used successfully in Texas to revegetate coal mine spoils. Most notably, this species is used as an ornamental. Its enormous spread makes it a beautiful shade tree. During the time period when wooden ships were made, the U.S. Navy sought after this species. The massive durable branches were used for the ship ribs and knees. It is believed also that Native Americans used this tree as trail markers by staking saplings down, causing them to grow in certain angles to mark directions.

Height: 20 - 50 feet
Width: 20 - 50 feet
Growth Rate: Slow Growing
Grow Season: Summer
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Function:
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Allergenic
Invasive:
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Hardy
Water Use: Low water Use

Citations:
  1. Jones, Warren D, and Charles M Sacamano. Landscape Plants for Dry Regions: More Than 600 Species from around the World. Fisher Books, 2000.
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Quercus virginiana