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Trees & Tracks: Live Oak

Trees & Tracks: Live Oak

It’s time for another Trees and Tracks post! This month’s tree is one of my personal favorites and is found throughout the southern landscape, the Live Oak (Quercus virginiana).  Live Oaks are not just a stately tree that line many roadways, parks, and plantations, they also have a significant historical importance to our country. Their dense and hearty wood was used in constructing battleships in the 17th and 18th centuries. Live oaks have often been a seen as a symbol of strength and life. They are more of a sprawling tree in stature, with limbs that can extend out nearly double the height of the tree. Live Oaks are one of the longest living trees known to exist, with some, such as the “Angel Oak” located in South Carolina, estimated to be more than 1,500 years old. To put this in perspective, that means that a few of these trees are more than 6 times the age of our country! If trees could talk, I’m sure these tree would have many stories to tell. Live oaks produce acorns which are small nuts that are green at first, then turn brown when mature. Many animals, such as deer, squirrels, and turkeys to name a few, forage on acorns which provide a rich source of nutrients and protein.  

Have questions about ecology?  Contact our Natural Resources Ecologist, Michael Mohler 225-767-3880 or by email at mmohler@teainconline.com.