Live oak

poaky1March 7, 2011

Hello, I may get no replies on this, but I am curious anyway. Has anyone in Pa successfully grown a Live oak? This would be Quercus Virginiana or Quercus Fusiformis.It is zone 7 hardy, but I wondered if anyone has tried and succeeded. and if so what part of Pa is the tree.The Q. Fusiformis is zone 6 hardy.

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eibren(z6PA)

Supposedly Pin Oaks were planted in my neighborhood, which has proven a disaster in the heavy, moisture-retentive soil.

There are several on each block, and many have some sort of fungus. Worst of all, a very large one across the street from my house suddenly fell over during a storm, and just missed my house. The trunk was at least three feet in diameter and the wood was extremely heavy. Oaks are usually deep rooted, and one does not expect them to just fall over.

Considering how heavy oak tres are, I recommend caution if you plant a live oak or any other out-of -area oak in our zone. Live oaks grow extensively in Southern Louisianna (Cajun country), so I doubt that in general they would be well adapted to our area. The one you cite could be, if its other growth preferences (soil types, moisture, elevation, etc.) match yours.

I can understand your desire to try, since live oaks are extremely attractive trees. Possibly if you check on a "tree" forum you will find that someone has developed a strain of live oaks that are suitable for PA. I am growing an Edith Bogue magnolia, descended from one sent to a relative in the Philly area by someone living in the South which just happened to be able to survive up here--so that might have been done for live oaks as well.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:21PM
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poaky1

To Eibren 3 months later! I stopped checking this thread after about a month of no bites. I have a supposedly zone 6 hardy Live oak I'm trying out, and have found a dwarf live oak that can grow in Michigan that I am going to try out. It will not be anything like those down south but for the texture of the leaves and keeping leaves until December, it will create some winter interest and still fit under the power lines by the driveway. It is supposed to get 10 feet tall. I also have a couple pin oaks but mine are only about 10 years old.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 10:59PM
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dghornock(7b)

We grew two southern lives at our cottage 8 miles SE of Dover DE, and although some winters were a little rough, they grew to a height of 18' and 30' by the time we sold our place downstate. We also had two needle palms that were 7' by the time we sold it. We planted a southern live in southeastern PA (Elizabethtown, about 75 miles west of Philadelphia and 75 miles NNE of Baltimore,) which did survive after years of freezing to the roots and rebounding in early summer. Only plant live oak if you are in an area which does not receive 0 degree weather. The actual hardiness is about 5 to 10 degrees f; but it can survive 0 to 5 degrees once established. We plan on planting three southern lives at our new house in Delaware, along with several needle palms.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 10:29PM
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poaky1

Wow, Just a little more than 3 years ago. Since that post, I have learned a lot. My Quercus Fusiformis is still alive, but not too vigorously growing. I have tried Live oak "Late drop" from Mossy oak natives Nursery, in Mississippi. They are later in seed drop/ acorn ripeness than regular Quercus Virginiana. They have also proven to be MUCH hardier. Last year they stayed evergreen all winter, with no below zero. This winter they are still alive, but ugly colored leaves, after several -9F nights and low temps, cold winds. I have 2 threads covering these trees already. One is called Most successful try at Live oak. Go to part 2. I will be posting a pic soon updating their condition after this round of sub-zero temps and brutal winds. One tree has lost some leaves, but the buds appear to be threatening plumpage, or leafing out. I hope they won't. It has been too cold to be expecting this. A Rhody next to it has seemed to be ready to herald spring already with some growth, and fattened buds. I have a needle palm in the ground, and one potted in the house. The one outside, I haven't checked up on for a while, the one in the house is drying out from the heat/furnace. Anyhoo, these "late drop" live oaks are not going to succumb to the cold. After several below 0F, 3 -9F nights, I deem them zone 6 hardy, so far. These are in their second year in zone 6 have planted a few more in lower areas (maybe colder) in my yard. The last few of the "late drop" live oak I've ordered seem to not be as good as my first 2 ordered. They arrived with yellow leaves, not green. Maybe they will leaf out nice and green. These seedlings are cheap in price, but they are rated zone7 hardy like ANY LIVE OAK so you may be sacrificing the cost, that is if they don't thrive. You must have a total of $25.00 or $20.00 minimum order. If I were going to order more of the Live oak "late drop", I would specify, "I only want dark green foliage on my seedlings, not pale green, or yellow". And "no substitutes". The parent tree is a tall tree in a forest setting, so you know it isn't from a shrub form live oak. For your order you will receive a APPROX, 3 ft tall whip. I will post a couple pics of 2 year old whips after some sub-zero temps, but a couple weeks from our latest round of a week of some sub-zeros.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 2:31AM
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poaky1

The 2 Live oaks above are 2 years in-ground in zone 6 Southwestern Pa. The "late drop" live oaks from Mossy oak natives nursery, seem to have hybrid vigor and are hardier. They are listed as zone 7 hardy. My success with them makes me want to tout them as a miracle plant, but I the end all I can say without doubt is that I have had great results in my yard with several of these trees.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 2:48AM
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poaky1

My other posts are in the tree forum.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 2:49AM
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poaky1

These pics were taken February 10, 2014. This is winter #2 for these 2 Live oak "late drop". The leaves are ugly and tannish on one and semi green but ugly on the other. This is okay, because in a couple months they will shed the ugly, and put out new growth, the buds are fine for next year. We have had several -9F and some -5F, as many as 12 days of below 0 F as of yet. I will post the new leafout pics in spring. I am confident they will be fine. The trees are from Mossy oak natives nursery online. They are rated as zone 7 hardy, like the plain Quercus Virginiana, but have proven hardy through 2012-2013 winter and so far 2013-2014. The trees are cheap, but you need a minimum order of $20-$29. Not sure which. I will post pics from yesterday of the 1 1/2 year in ground babies. Despite the brown leaves on the bigger one, the buds are fine for next years new leaf-out. The top pic isn't clear, but you can make out the tree with snow on it. The other is the ugly brown leaved one. Spring will make 2 winters for the 2 of them, I will update after the new leaves come out on them. I know they aren't too impressive now, but I am 90% sure they will be fine into next growing season.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 9:49PM
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poaky1

I know winter isn't over. I just wanted to say that it is March 3, almost March 4 in a couple minutes. I will update (hopefully, I remember) in April, on the Live oaks. Now though, so far so good.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:00AM
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poaky1

It isn't April yet I know. I just wanted to add that therte is some top die-back on my live oaks, but there are healthy buds yet, quite a feat after this winter. I will update in April.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 8:30PM
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poaky1

This forum is dead, but, I am happy to report that 3 of my live oaks have healthy buds now. I think that as long as they don't leaf out too early and get damaged, I will have good growth on all 3 Live oak "late drop" trees in spring. In May I will post an update pic, not sure anyone is following this thread, though.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 12:24AM
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operaprincess_2001

Poaky1, keep the update going. I just came back from Texas and I fell in love with these trees. I'm in sw pa as well, so let me know how they do.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:08PM
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poaky1

Operaprincess, are you in the mountainous area of Pa, or in the areas below the Mountains? I am in Fayette county, a few miles from the mountains. My friend is about a mile and a half from the cross, up in the Jumonsville campground campus. Which may put her about a half zone lower than my lower 6A zone hardiness, making her zone 6b. The thing that is MOST IMPORTANT, is to get the Live oak "Late drop" planted in your yard in spring, after your last spring frost. That way it gets many months to get into the soil, and is as a result is more hardy to face the winter. Sorry there isn't anything better to tell you. If you add the Live oak "late drop" to your late summer, or fall landscape, the live oak will croak and you will be out the money you paid for it. And me who has typed all this info, will wonder why you didn't follow directions, and the tree is dead. If you want to try to have a zone 6 Live oak tree, endure your winter in zone 6 . And I will tell you my source. Mossy oak natives.I realize some may say, hey this tree has been mentioned by someone, and they may profit from me buying it. I will tell you, it doesn't help me if you buy the Live oak "late drop". But I must mention that this tree has proven zone 6 hardy, in my yard. If you buy the "live oak" "late drop" and you will need to purchase other stuff to have the money amount to be seen.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 12:56AM
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poaky1

I just want to say that the live oak "late drop" planted above on some plant site. Is the best info available for the plants. But the plants that the second train screams about is likely the second Deeply southern image of good

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 4:50AM
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poaky1

I am sorry about the stupid posts above, I was drunk and was a real A*s. Not much else to add to that. Operaprincess, I hope you don't give up on trying to grow the Live oak "late drop" because of my assanine post. I will post a pic of the tree when it puts out new leaves. Don't dismiss the tree really being hardy here because of these idiotic posts which I made.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 12:57AM
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eibren(z6PA)

Hi Poaky, I found this information on Live Oaks in PA very interesting. Thanks for posting it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:22AM
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poaky1

I am still waiting for leaves on the Late drop Live oak. I am glad they aren't putting out leaves yet. I expect that in the first or second week in May they will start leafing out. Last year it was about May 12th, but a frost damaged that first leaf-out. They later put out more, and all was good. The thing that helps for survival is to plant the trees in spring, that helps with winter survival, having time to settle in, and put some roots in the ground. Pretty much what I posted before but, I should lose the crappy attitude.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 11:23PM
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patty_cakes

Here in Tx(Austin)we don't have to worry about cold/snow, but drought/heat. The Live Oaks seem to flourish in these conditions, which amazes me. When they were first planted 6 years ago, I watered them twice a week that first summer. Since then, during our heavy summer drought conditions and watering bans, I water once every 2 weeks if I'm lucky. The trees are at least 30' tall with huge 'heads' and an abundance branches/leaves. They never completely die back in the winter(are they supposed to ?)and have leafed out even more with new growth at the top .

In all honesty, they're not as pretty as a 'real' Oak tree with large leaves. Had I known that, I would have had them dug up and put in the side yard and put in a couple of Golden/Red Oaks since they are in the front and would have looked better.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:04AM
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poaky1

Pattycakes, in my yard/climate. Live oaks are not heard of as an outdoor tree. I tried a hybrid live oak, the Live oak "late drop" from Mossy oak natives nursery. I was amazed when the seedlings I bought in spring 2012 came back and leafed out (one had to leaf out twice because of a late frost) in my zone 6 SW Pa yard. Well, these trees put out new growth, one put out 2 ft and others close to that. If someone doubts this, I will gladly post photos of my favorite Live oak "late drop" after it's first growth flush, as well as the other "late drop" Live oaks after they put out leaves. I am excited about these trees because I have tried other live oak seedlings, and saw them fail for at least 2 years. When I saw success with a few of these, I was really happy about it.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:03PM
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poaky1

My oldest Live oak "late drop" are going to leaf out soon, but I'm still waiting. I can see your point pattycakes. You have the Live oak everywhere, so the bigger leaved deciduous oaks are a nice change of pace. I have some deciduous oaks, a good bit of them, but the Live oaks are a novelty. Well more than a novelty, but a nice change of scenery.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 8:18PM
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poaky1

I said in an above post that my friend is zone 6b. I messed up, she is zone 5b. But anyhow, I am still waiting for leaf-out. I am sure they will leaf-out, though. It will be great if they leaf-out late, because last spring they got frost damage on their new leaves. If I go by last years last frost date, it will be May 15 th. These trees have slightly plumped red buds. Just wait about a week for leaf-out.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 12:28AM
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poaky1

Eibren, order yourself, some "late drop" Live Oaks. From Mossy oak natives nursery. They are zone 6 hardy in well drained soil. If anyone wants to plant trees that are for their land, property, yard, whatever term you choose to use. My 3 Live oak "late drop" are growing new plant branches. Maybe some plants, like whatever the Live oak, mentioning the Pennsylvania plant forum. If nobody chooses to have plants through the Pa forum, I don't care, just let me know how to close this post.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 2:52AM
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poaky1

Sorry I have had a few drinks. I will mention that my Live oak "late drop" planted in spring 2012. Are doing wonderful. Three of them planted( 2013-2014) are doing fine in my yard now. Even after last (horrible) winter of 2013-2014, these trees have good buds. But only those planted in (2013-2014) are likely hardy enough to releaf and grow trees despite the likely new post you may make. If you don't that's fine, anyway.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 3:44AM
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poaky1

I am pretty sure that there are good buds on these live oaks. The trees at least the older 2 from (2012-2013) are VERY likely to leaf out. It is taking a HELL of a loooooooong time for this to happen though. A local tree (Amer. Beech) is taking a long time to leaf out also, so I am keeping some faith that they will be okay, eventually.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 1:51AM
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poaky1

I have budbreak on one of my live oak "late drop". . I'll post pics once it is leafed out more.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 9:40PM
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poaky1

The above post shows me in zone 10. I am in zone 6 Pa.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 10:40PM
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poaky1

After the worst winter I can remember as a gardener,( 8) -10F nights and several -0F days/nights. I had 3 live oak "late drops. 1 Died right out 2nd one came back from the roots and is about 6 inches tall now and 3rd is looking as though it will leaf out soon but hasn't yet. It is like a zombie tree. It has buds all swollen and pink. The dead one had no buds left on it. Here's a pic of the zombie Live oak. This tree has been like this for at least a few weeks.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:02PM
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poaky1

I have been checking on this tree every day and the buds really appeared to be ready to leaf out. I have pruned it down to where I had seen green on the underbark. At the bottom of the trunk area that was scraped, there is green on the trunk.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:10AM
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poaky1

I think the Live oak "late drop" isn't hardy in zone 6 a but but zone 6 b is hopefull. I think it just may be THAT CLOSE.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:17AM
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poaky1

If anyone in zone 6b, towards Bucks county, wants to try Live oak sorry Operaprincess, you and I are zone 6a, unless you are in a microclimate. Meaning in an area of lots of paving and a large body of water. I saw them in Florida and became obsessed, literally. There is a hybrid, I have 3 already. The hybrid is between the Live oak species and the Overcup oak. Out of the 3 Live oaks that are 2 yrs old 2 of them are growing from the lower trunk, but in another harsh winter they will be toast. I am going to keep them in the ground, but plant hardier trees near them. I feel stoopid for saying they were hardy in zone 6. They only lived through 1 winter at that point. The Compton's oak is a hybrid between live oak and Overcup oak. It may have the traits of either parent, though. Here's a pic of one after 4 yrs in my yard. Not too bad for 4 yrs in the ground, 2 ft when planted. It is a hybrid of Live and Overcup oak, it can take after either parent more or less. I guess if you can't see Elvis, you can see his impersonators, and make the best of it.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:33PM
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poaky1

I want to mention there is a mature Compton's oak in Williamsburg, Va. You can see an image online of the mature tree. The texture is different from pure live oak, a bit. The size seems equal though.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:42PM
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poaky1

Pattycakes how are your Live oaks doing? They don't die back in winter in your area. They don't anywhere, from what I've heard. If you are in the western half of Texas you likely have a hybrid of Coast live/ and Plateau live oak. If you are in eastern Texas (less dry) you have Q. Virginia Live oak. This from what I've read. My Live oaks have all come back from the lower trunk, except one. Mine are all Live oak "late drop" from Mossy oak natives nursery. I am letting the sprouts grow, but planting zone 6 hardy oaks 5ft from them. In a harsh winter, I am sure they will die back to the lower trunk again. Post a pic or 2 of your Live oaks.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:08PM
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poaky1

My Live oak "late drop" which is pictured several posts above, where I had posted pics of the branches with plump pink buds. Well those buds never put out leaves. But the tree sent up new growth in July. It is all new growth from the ground. It can be seen by the red scoop. It is about a foot and a half.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:57PM
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poaky1

Me again, I just am hoping that winter 2014-2015 isn't bad enough to kill the growth shown in the last picture. If it is it won't matter, I'll be planting zone 6 hardy trees close by.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:00AM
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poaky1

I have been unsuccessful with the Live oak "late drop" as painfully evident in the previous posts. Last winter was severe here, and they only came up from the bottom trunk. But Operaprincess, if you revisit this forum. The Compton's oak is a hybrid of The Overcup oak and the Q. Virginia (or Live oak) It is hardy to zone 5 actually, so a much better tree to plant. It is similar to the Southern live. It being a hybrid, may take after the Overcup or the Live more. I have seen photos, I would plant one at least if you love the Southern Live oak. I am (of course) planting several. I should also mention that the Quercus Nigra, Water oak is zone 6 hardy and can resemble the Live oak a bit. But if you have a smaller property, and must make all your plantings count, I would plant the longer lived Compton's oak. The water oak Q. Nigra only lives about 60-75 years, USUALLY. I WILL however post the regrowth picture of the LIVE OAK "Late drop". The photo shows the CURRENT Live oak "Late drop" tree which has come back from being killed down to the trunk from last winters cold. IF you can I would recommend a Compton's oak.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 1:45AM
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