live oak
Quercus virginiana

Live oak is an evergreen oak occuring along the Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains. It can be a massive, wide-spreading, picturesque tree, or a mere shrub, depending on the site. Acorns provide for wildlife and decent growth and ease of transplanting have led to ornamental use.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Live oak wood is heavy and strong. Currently, it is not commonly used.


Wildlife Value
      Sweet acorns are said to be a favorite of many species of wildlife.
          Attracts: squirrels, bobwhite, scrub jays, mallards, turkeys, black bear, deer

Regeneration methods
      This species is not typically regenerated; in fact, it can occasionally be a weed in coastal timber plantations. Live oak stump sprouts abundantly and is intermediate in shade tolerance, suggesting decent competitive ability with all regeneration methods.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
oak wilt yellowing or browning of leaves

Fun facts
There is some question as to whether this is a red or a white oak. The acorns mature in one season, but leaves bear bristle tips. Live oak was essential for shipbuilding in the days of wooden ships. The U. S. Navy still owns extensive live oak forests.
Quercus: Latin name / virginiana: of Virginia
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu