Planted a Live Oak in Springfield, Mo

joeinmo 6b-7aApril 30, 2012

Anyone else try growing a live oak tree In the area?

I planted one in the fall and it's doing well. I purchased it from a Lowes in Northern Oklahoma. Is rated to zone 5 on the tag, but I doubt that is very accurate. I have heard of people in Tennessee in zone 6a that have 20-30 year old specimens. Usually I hear of them in zones 7 and up.

I figured we have had Armadillos for years, warm enough for a Texas Armadillo, warm enough for a Texas live oak. :).

Joe

Springfield, MO

6b-7a

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mosswitch

Oh funny Joe just because we got damadillos we should be able to grow zone 7! They are all the way up into Nebraska now. Good luck with your live oak tho, I'd be very interested to know of it survives our winters. And our hot dry summers! I'd love to have one even tho I know I'll never live to see them in their full glory.

Sandy

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:56PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Wow, Sandy I knew there were a few Dillos in the St. Louis area, but up in Nebraska, crazy.

So far so good thru 1 winter, it's a Texas / Oklahoma variety so a bit more cold hardy, and easily our summers much wetter than Texas so should be fine. I was in Rogers, AR today and seen a bunch there.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:12PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

You picked the perfect year to plant it Joe. We had such a mild winter. I don't think it even made it into the single digits. With a tree or shrub that's borderline hardy, the first winter is the toughest. It will be more established and ready for the next winter. Hope for another warm one though. We still have the potential to drop to 15 below or colder. Global warming just changes the averages. We can still have temperatures outside the average especially since we live in the Ozarks. No harm in trying though.

I came across an article awhile back that was written by a real estate agent in the south and she commented on how much property value is raised if there is a mature live oak in someone's yard. People will pay thousands more.

Here is someone else in zone 6 trying Live Oak

Here is a link that might be useful: Another live oak experiment - Trees Forum

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:34AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Thanks Christie for your input, yes let's hope for 3 more years of mild winters. My variety of Live Oak is not the variety you see on the Gulf Coast or around Austin, TX, it's a Quercus Fusiformis, not the Virginian variety.

http://www.mswn.com/Plant%20Info%20Sheets/Quercus%20fusiformis.pdf

It's found growing wild in far western Oklahoma and Texas, and can do well in temps down to 10 to 15 below zero. I have seen them in Rogers, AR and Big Cabin, OK, not too far away. The difference between a 6b zone lets say in SW Missouri, a place where our lakes don't freeze over and a 6 zone in Pennsylvania where they do is we do have nights that can reach below zero, but normally not for more than a day or two, rather than for 2 weeks in a row in Pennsylvania or even northern Missouri. I'm not too concerned about it making it here after its been in the ground after 3 years, but I would like feedback if anybody has one.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:48PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

These plants love the Ozarks heat, they are growing very nicely.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 5:49PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Follow up, I have to say while everyone's trees were browning up and turning crispy. These live oaks just grew like crazy. 100 degree heat, no problem.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:45PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Did you plant more than one?
Glad to hear they made it through the heat and drought.
This summer has been a lot like last summer so maybe we'll get an easy winter again. I'd put down some kind of mulch around late November before it gets too cold but after it has hardened off.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:43AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

yep, have 2

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:22PM
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JBZ6SWMO

I've been wanting to plant an Oklahoma live oak in my garden here in Springfield. Any suggestions on where I could find one?? I don't know if any springfield gardeners are interested in adding sabal minor palms to their plant collection, but I have been successfully growing them in my garden through the past five winters. My largest is currently loaded with seeds. Plus, I have a volunteer sabal minor coming up from last year's crop of seeds.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:55PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

I bought mine at Lowes in Tulsa in the Spring of 2011, but didn't plant it in the ground until fall (thought about just keeping it inside for a year at first) if they have some you can go on Lowes website and check the various stores in Tulsa to see if they have them and they will send them on a truck to Springfield for you.

The actual nursery that supplies and grows the trees is BFN. copy and paste the link below in your browser. The are located in northeast Oklahoma. Springfield should be fine - zone 6a-7b depending on what organization you are referencing (USDA, Arbor Day, Etc.)

http://foreverandeverplants.com/Index.aspx/AboutUs

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:24AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

I would be interested in Giving one a try.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:55AM
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JBZ6SWMO

Well, I just have seeds to give away ... Not the plants. Did you look sabal minors up online to see what they look like? As far as the live oaks, I will plan to visit nurseries in Tulsa or OKC this spring. I would like the largest size I can afford and transport back to Spfld. Is your live oak planted in the front yard where all can see it or backyard?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:49AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

I have the live oak In the Front yard, also I might have some live oak acorns for you. I might be going to Oklahoma in late Nov., if so I will be happy to send you some. Stay tuned I will post here if I get them

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:48PM
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JBZ6SWMO

Thanks! Keep us all updated on your love oak. And if you're traveling and come across a large one, post it here cuz I would travel to buy it. Have you posted a picture of it? I'd like to see it. There is also a Facebook group named Virginia Palm Society and Exotic Tropicals (if you're on FB). Several members were posting pics and questions about growing live oaks (and also pushing the gardening limits of tropical plants). You should check it out ... You don't have to garden in Virginia to be a member (I'm a member).

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 5:31PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

If anybody would like, I do have some Oklahoma/ North Texas variety (Fusiformis) acorns. Should be planted now indoors and will sprout around Late March early April. They don't stay viable for long. Just send me your address and I will mail.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 5:19PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Another winter success for the Texas Live Oak I have panted. Texas Live oak do not lose their leaves during the winter, however in the Spring they push out the old leaves and sprout new ones. I have nice healthy sprouts on my trees.

Also I do have some live oak seedlings available for free, can't ship but you can message me here if you would like some.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:55PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Here are the seedlings

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:18AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Congrats Joe! Those would be great for trading if you went to a garden club plant exchange of some sort. I think I'm running out of spots for trees in my yard though.
A word of caution - if you set your containers outside, something may go after the remaining acorn that's still under the soil and kill your little trees. That happened to me when I planted burr oak from acorns many years ago. They were still in the pots and about six inches tall. I didn't think about the acorns being food for squirrels or whatever after they had already sprouted.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:32AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Funny you should say that, did that last year and yep something ate them, not getting them this year :)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 1:21AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Another one of my live oaks, still came out fine even after the snow on it after leaf out.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 11:22PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Update:

All trees growing great, will take some pics in Dec. when these trees still have green leaves and most other trees are barren.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 7:55PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Amazing and a neat tree choice.

When is the last time you had a winter which might threaten them?

We have not had much for below zero temps lately but have had more snow than my MarkVIII can more about it.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:14PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Toranodo,

This is a Texas Live Oak (Quercus Fusiformis) and is more cold tolerant than the Virginiania versions you see in Florida and Louisiana. They are good to about 5-10 below. Some of the Fusiformis have seen -20 below.

Mine have seen probably 9 degrees at the lowest.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:34PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

After one of the top 10 coldest winters in SW Missouri, Im happy to say my Live Oaks made it! I am confident that every year will make them more hardy now.

I will say this, this is the first year that they did not keep green leaves year round. Around early February they turned a weird purple, then later that month went brown and dried out, Around Mid April they began rebudding and leaf out just before May.

I was really happy about that, so I went to Oklahoma and purchased the very elusive and hard to find Quartz Mountain Live Oak. This is the most cold hardy of the Live Oaks and the only naturally occurring stand north of Texas I purchased from a town north west of Oklahoma City that went to -2 last Jan. About the same as Branson that went to -3, but these Oaks stayed green all year without a blink.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 12:31PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Impressive, for a std variety live oak (quercus virginiana) such as found in LA, I had the plant for seven years and experienced severe dieback 2 or 3 of those years. This was NE Oklahoma near Claremore.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 8:35AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

cbarron,

Yep those Virginiana will never make it this far north. The Fusiformis have much smaller leaves and grow a lot slower. They have some nice big specimens in Tulsa and Rogers, AR. But the Quartz Mountain Fusiformis are cold hardy to zone 6a and have seen record temps as low as -15 with no dieback. I got them from a nursery called Sunshine Nursery in Oklahoma.

Most nurseries have no clue what kind of live oak they are selling. Went to a huge one in Broken Arrow and they had 3 Quercus Virginiana, from Louisiana tree farm. Wrong type, you can be sure to get a Fusiformis from anything north of Dallas, it's all they sell. A nice big nursery about 20 miles north of Plano Texas has lots, can't remember the name sorry.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 11:03AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Yep, I've been to Sunshine many times...would like some stuff they have now...but they don't ship and that's a long drive.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 11:26AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Your not kidding, very long drive hopefully worth it :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 9:32PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Here is an updated photo of one of my Texas Live Oaks after this years arctic blasts and top 10 coldest winters.

Growing great and is now around 6ft.

Depending on which area of the Ozarks you live, the greatest challenge is getting them rooted so they can get a handle on our clay loam. Texas Live Oaks like well drained soil, put them in the wrong spot and you'll rot the roots.

The Branson area, Mtn Home, Ark and hills around the lakes are well drained and would be a nice spot to grow these trees.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:21PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Looks happy.
I'd like very much to travel back in time about 25 years and plant a couple of those in our yard instead of the pink oaks that we have.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:42AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

If we only had this blog 25 years ago Christy

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:40PM
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Kelliq

So delighted to hear your live oak doing well in Springfield. We're in Jonesboro AR - 7B - just brought one home from Texas - eager to get it in the ground. Not concerned about the heat here but the longer cold spells was a concern. Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2014 at 10:28AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Kelli,

You should be fine in 7b - in Texas they sell Quercus Virginiana and Quercus Fusiformis. The Fusiformis are much more cold hardy. Which one did they sell you?

Also all the research I have read says to plant live oak in spring, not fall, opposite of most trees.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2014 at 5:04PM
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