Trees for the Southwest

The Live Oak Tree

The Live Oak TreeThe Live Oak Tree – Botanical name: Quercus virginian. The live oak tree is a good shade and ornamental tree. It will eventually grow to about ft 70ft. high and about 100 ft wide at about 30-40 years of age. This tree is an evergreen in the southwest. However, it does like to shed its leaves in the early spring and regenerates new growth at the same time.

There are about 50 species of Live oak trees and shrubs the one we mention here will do well in and around the Southwest from Northern New Mexico to West Texas and the lower elevations of Arizona and California.

 

It will produce acorns that drop in fall this means there are some cleaning and maintenance during the mid-spring seasons.   They do retain the foliage but will lose older leaves in early summer-time.

The Live Oak tree can easily be trimmed to your preference, make into a ball, canopy, square or whatever you think will work in your landscape. They will grow somewhat spindly at first but will eventually look better and give great shade after a few years of good growth.

Quercus virginian
A live Oaktree about 10-12 years of age.

Color Your World Nurseries will usually have this type of tree in stock. You can call us for further information at (505) 521-0496 or contact us here.

The Live will retain it’s glossy, dark green leaves all year it likes full sun. It is also one of the faster-growing oak trees.

It has a small tapered type acorn that can be used to produce another seedling oak trees. The live oak limbs grow low close to the ground, and later growing upward. It is a long-lived moderate to a fast-growing tree.

Water Requirements: Water every day for the first 30 days twice a day is even better. This is critical if planting in mid-summer. In the southwestern desert, this tree needs lots of water. Sun: Full Zones: USDA 7-10 Blooming season: None.

How big do Live Oaks get?

They will grow into a large majestic shade tree.  Make sure to give it plenty of room for it to grow.  Below is a photograph of a large Oak tree.  This one could be 50 or more years of age.

The Live Oak Tree

The Live Oak Tree

Maintenance: Medium – Some cleanup after foliage sheds during summer months.  As stated earlier it produces small acorns that fall in late spring.  This adds to the cleanup and maintenance of your landscape.

Here are some more facts about the Live Oak tree from Wikipedia.

Foliage: Evergreen with dark green waxy leaves Fertilize: Spring, Summer early fall.

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Comments

    • Laurie A. Smith
    • February 8, 2016
    Reply

    You didn’t say how high the live oak gets.

      • Paul Guzman
      • February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Live oaks can grow up to 60ft. in height.

    • Dale
    • February 8, 2016
    Reply

    the species name is never capitalized.

      • Paul Guzman
      • February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks for reminding me.

    • Sandy
    • August 31, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Paul,
    How do live oaks hold up against strong wind conditions?
    This year we had some 78 – 80 mph winds.
    This is not always the case but we do have strong winds almost all year.

      • Paul Guzman
      • August 31, 2016
      Reply

      Hello, Sandy. Thanks for commenting. Live Oaks do very well in strong winds. Oak trees are known for hard wood qualities. This means they can withstand strong winds. The live Oak is also one of the faster growing type of Oak Tree.

    • Beverly Bell
    • October 31, 2018
    Reply

    Hi Paul. Thank you for these emails. They are so helpful and have given me some great ideas for new trees.

    1. Reply

      Thanks, Beverly. I strive to give good information on trees, shrubs, and plants that do well in and around the southwest.

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