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PalmTreeDude

Live Oak In Virginia (7a/7b)?

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PalmTreeDude

Could I pull off growing a Live Oak here just south of Richmond on the boarder of zone 7a/7b? I heard they are hardy to zone 7a, they are native to the coast here.

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fastfeat

I tend to doubt it, but I don't spend much time that far north. I'd imagine that Zone 7 hardiness probably is for trees used in north Texas, Oklahoma where it's a drier cold, and Q. virginiana has transitioned into Q. fusiformis (Escarpment live oak). And while Escarpment live oak takes colder temps, its not well-adapted to high summer humidities and rainfall of mid-Atlantic. I'd try finding a tree from a nursery as far north in your region (sourced locally or of maybe a cold-hardy cultivar?) and hope for a few warm winters and no ice storms. Good luck.

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Tampa Scott

 This one was in the news when I was in the Richmond area visiting my mother a couple of years ago. I had no idea that they grew there, but I never paid attention to Oak trees when I lived there. This one was growing in the Jackson Ward Area of Richmond and developers wanted to remove it causing a lot of angry residents.

news48_trees.jpg.c27797908add339b4915ab5

   

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_Keith

Your post actually prompted me to do a bit of Googling out of curiosity.  There were lots of folks saying no, but a handful claiming to have done it successfully.    Now, I am talking about the Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)), but there are many other species of Live Oak that might worth a try. 

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fastfeat
12 hours ago, Tampa Scott said:

 This one was in the news when I was in the Richmond area visiting my mother a couple of years ago. I had no idea that they grew there, but I never paid attention to Oak trees when I lived there. This one was growing in the Jackson Ward Area of Richmond and developers wanted to remove it causing a lot of angry residents.

news48_trees.jpg.c27797908add339b4915ab5

   

OK, I stand corrected. That's as nice a mid-aged Q. virginiana as you'll find much further south. Good find!

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Tampa Scott

Did a little online search and the Tree lost out in the fall to a statue to be placed in its former location.

14359213_10209378204745409_1529190555159

 

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fastfeat
10 hours ago, Tampa Scott said:

Did a little online search and the Tree lost out in the fall to a statue to be placed in its former location.

14359213_10209378204745409_1529190555159

 

Probably a statue to some noted conservationist/environmentalist... Well-played, City of Richmond.

/s.

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PalmTreeDude

That pisses me off that they would cut that down, it is a tree that is truly southern and it is thriving there, but no, let's cut it down... Smh. But, today I went to Virginia Beach (they are native there) and got myself some seeds. 

 

image.jpg

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TexasColdHardyPalms

I gave my parents a few 1" caliper live oaks a few years ago for their place in 7a/7b Oklahoma.  So far they completely defoliate when the temps drop below 10 but they haven't died and grow very well during the summer. This year they dropped to 3F so we'll see how they fair this summer. 

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PalmTreeDude
On 2/14/2017, 8:47:06, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I gave my parents a few 1" caliper live oaks a few years ago for their place in 7a/7b Oklahoma.  So far they completely defoliate when the temps drop below 10 but they haven't died and grow very well during the summer. This year they dropped to 3F so we'll see how they fair this summer. 

Where did you collect the seed? I collected mine from Virginia Beach, which is about the northernmost where they grow naturally. I hope they are a little bit hardier. My other hope is that they will establish well, I am planning on planting them once they have been sprouted for a few weeks as soon as they sprout, so they will have all summer to establish.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Texas seed.

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Brian Bruning

Try the form from Texas. Dallas gets quite cold but Washingtonias survive there esp. W. filifera, but is needs good drainage rather than low ground which the other form is tolerant of.  Some consider the Texas form to be Quercus fusiformis or Q. virginiana var. fusiformis.  It is shorter but hardier. 

 

Quercus virginiana range map 1.png

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Brian Bruning

The Q. fusiformis grows wild in the Quartz Mtns. of western Oklahoma, zone 7a. 

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Turtlesteve

There is a Q. fusiformis planted in town here - it seems to have no issues with the heat/humidity in zone 8 South Carolina.  It's more or less indistinguishable from Q. virginiana except that the acorns look slightly different.  I am working on germinating some acorns now, but I have no idea where the parent came from with regards to cold tolerance.

There are actually lot's of other evergreen oak trees, a few hardy to zone 7, but most are not widely known or planted.

Steve

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SEVA

@PalmTreeDude How are your southern live oaks doing? I think I remember reading in another topic that the acorns you collected in VB germinated?  Sorry if I've missed an update in another topic.

I'm borderline 7b/8a and my live oaks do just fine, but I'm also not too far from naturally occurring stands of live oak.

Edited by SEVA

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PalmTreeDude
18 minutes ago, SEVA said:

@PalmTreeDude How are your southern live oaks doing? I think I remember reading in another topic that the acorns you collected in VB germinated?  Sorry if I've missed an update in another topic.

I'm borderline 7b/8a and my live oaks do just fine, but I'm also not too far from naturally occurring stands of live oak.

They survived the winter just fine, which is good to know. But something (probably a squirrel) literally ripped and chewed them up. They had new growth starting and everything. I do have a single seedling from some live oaks in Virginia Beach from my trip in the Spring. I would of had many many more but the good old squirrel (I saw it this time) literally ate almost all of them out of the pot, which prompted me to build a "germination box" that no critters can get into on my deck. I might plant this seedling next Spring once it gets a bit bigger. 

I learned to not put up bird feeders if you want to plant seedling sized plants directly into the ground... 

Edited by PalmTreeDude

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Jcalvin
On 2/10/2017 at 6:12 PM, Tampa Scott said:

Did a little online search and the Tree lost out in the fall to a statue to be placed in its former location.

14359213_10209378204745409_1529190555159

 

We have three varieties of Live Oak that grow here. I mean, we have A LOT them.  However, it STILL gets my goat when these majestic beauties are cut down. 

A guy purchased a corner piece of property along an intersection. The area here is mostly rural. In order to build a parking lot, he thought he had to cut down the 4 or 5 Live Oaks that had well over a 90-100’ spread and trunks anywhere from 5-7’ in diameter. On top of that, he never built the parking lot.

Here’s a picture of one of my favorites here: 

36D3DC0B-E339-48A4-8B3F-6048C41C6B8B.jpeg

3FC8CB6B-0168-4A34-95D5-E8BAC00EB28C.jpeg

Edited by Jcalvin
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SEVA
21 hours ago, PalmTreeDude said:

They survived the winter just fine, which is good to know. But something (probably a squirrel) literally ripped and chewed them up. They had new growth starting and everything. I do have a single seedling from some live oaks in Virginia Beach from my trip in the Spring. I would of had many many more but the good old squirrel (I saw it this time) literally ate almost all of them out of the pot, which prompted me to build a "germination box" that no critters can get into on my deck. I might plant this seedling next Spring once it gets a bit bigger. 

I learned to not put up bird feeders if you want to plant seedling sized plants directly into the ground... 

That's unfortunate; sorry to hear that.  Plans to grow more?  I'm sure they'll have little to no issues during your Richmond winters as long as you don't plant any from a more southerly source such as Florida.  Maybe some defoliation if you have a harsh winter or an ice storm.  I remember seeing live oaks defoliated in Mississippi after an ice storm and again after temps dropped into the single digits.  It was so cold in MS one winter, folks were walking on frozen ponds.  The live oaks resumed growth in the spring and looked just fine.

I've never had issues with squirrels, but I usually just plant the live oak acorns directly into the ground where I want them, and watch them grow.  I have several southern live oaks (Quercus virginiana) sourced from VA, NC, GA, and MS, and they do fine.  I had one sourced from FL that died to the ground after the 2017-2018 winter, but it resprouted from the root collar.  I replaced this tree with a Quercus hemisphaerica, another native evergreen (or semi-evergreen) oak.  The tree I sourced this from usually begins to drop it's leaves in February, and begins new growth as it sheds its final leaves from the previous year.

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veeman55

Can i grow Live Oak in zone 7a Detroit or Southern Ohio Cincinnati area?

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PalmTreeDude
1 hour ago, SEVA said:

That's unfortunate; sorry to hear that.  Plans to grow more?  I'm sure they'll have little to no issues during your Richmond winters as long as you don't plant any from a more southerly source such as Florida.  Maybe some defoliation if you have a harsh winter or an ice storm.  I remember seeing live oaks defoliated in Mississippi after an ice storm and again after temps dropped into the single digits.  It was so cold in MS one winter, folks were walking on frozen ponds.  The live oaks resumed growth in the spring and looked just fine.

I've never had issues with squirrels, but I usually just plant the live oak acorns directly into the ground where I want them, and watch them grow.  I have several southern live oaks (Quercus virginiana) sourced from VA, NC, GA, and MS, and they do fine.  I had one sourced from FL that died to the ground after the 2017-2018 winter, but it resprouted from the root collar.  I replaced this tree with a Quercus hemisphaerica, another native evergreen (or semi-evergreen) oak.  The tree I sourced this from usually begins to drop it's leaves in February, and begins new growth as it sheds its final leaves from the previous year.

Yes, I do plan to grow more, and I have a seedling right now from the Virginia Beach population. I just don't know how to store it in the winter, does it need cold exposure? Could I bring it inside? Maybe I should just plant it now, I'm not sure. I make a trip to VA Beach every late winter and end up collecting a bunch of live oak acorns, sometimes they are already germinating with a little root coming out, so when I take a few home like that I can just stick them right in pots and they'll sprout after a few weeks. 

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SEVA
8 hours ago, veeman55 said:

Can i grow Live Oak in zone 7a Detroit or Southern Ohio Cincinnati area?

I'm not familiar with the Midwest, but I would think the duration of sub-freezing temperatures would at least kill them to the ground, if not completely.  Here in the South, the cold snaps generally don't last long.  I've seen it snow one day and then temps in the 70s the next day.  The cold I mentioned in MS only lasted a few days and was very unusual.  Typically, we at least get above freezing during the day (with a few exceptions), even during the rare extreme cold events.  Maybe someone more familiar with the Midwest region can provide some insight.  I suppose you could try and see what happens.  Or maybe try a hybrid of Q. virginiana?

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SEVA
9 hours ago, PalmTreeDude said:

Yes, I do plan to grow more, and I have a seedling right now from the Virginia Beach population. I just don't know how to store it in the winter, does it need cold exposure? Could I bring it inside? Maybe I should just plant it now, I'm not sure. I make a trip to VA Beach every late winter and end up collecting a bunch of live oak acorns, sometimes they are already germinating with a little root coming out, so when I take a few home like that I can just stick them right in pots and they'll sprout after a few weeks. 

The only time I've grown live oaks in a pot was after I collected a few acorns in late fall/ early winter.  I kept them in my dorm over winter and planted them in the ground in the spring.  If you decide to keep it in a pot, I would bring it indoors on the colder nights to prevent the pot/ roots from freezing.  I think it should be fine if you planted it now or later in the fall.  I probably would plant it this fall, but I'm in the southeast corner of the state where live oak is native.  I would consider if it's still growing and if you think it has grown enough roots to prevent too much soil loss when it is removed from the pot.  My live oaks are still exhibiting shoot growth.  If you collect enough acorns, I would trial a few directly in the ground.  They shouldn't emerge through the soil surface until spring (in my experience), even though they don't require a cold stratification period for germination.  I'm sure you already knew that, since you've seen some with roots already.  I've even seen some acorns with roots while they were still attached to the tree.  No matter what you decide, I hope it grows well for you.  If it doesn't make it, at least you have a relatively close source for future trials.

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veeman55

Could you send me some fresh seeds? How much?

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NC_Palms

I’ve seen some big live oaks in and around Richmond, VA. There are even a few large specimens in Northern VA/DC and the northernmost largest specimen is in Annapolis, Maryland. 

If you were to plant a live oak in Richmond, I would try to find a tree sourced from native seeds in Virginia or Maryland. Most trees are sourced from Florida and aren’t as hardy. 

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Silas_Sancona
On 9/21/2019 at 5:45 AM, SEVA said:

I'm not familiar with the Midwest, but I would think the duration of sub-freezing temperatures would at least kill them to the ground, if not completely.  Here in the South, the cold snaps generally don't last long.  I've seen it snow one day and then temps in the 70s the next day.  The cold I mentioned in MS only lasted a few days and was very unusual.  Typically, we at least get above freezing during the day (with a few exceptions), even during the rare extreme cold events.  Maybe someone more familiar with the Midwest region can provide some insight.  I suppose you could try and see what happens.  Or maybe try a hybrid of Q. virginiana?

Have to agree, Don't recall seeing any planted anywhere around Cincinnati or the suburbs when I lived out there.  Downtown area closest to the river would likely be the best spot where they might survive when younger though.  

On a side note, came across an article anyone ( everyone) back east should look into.. Seems Sudden Oak Death was detected in a shipment of Rhododendrons that were shipped both to several places in Cincinnati, and possibly other states as well. Very familiar w/ this disease as it has been quickly killing off Coast Live Oak, Tan Oak, & CA. Laurel back in California since it showed up there..  Spreads readily as well. Not good news. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Update. My parents live oaks never came back out after 3f and died.  They were 2-3" caliper and 12' tall when they died. 

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SEVA

After this live oak talk, I felt the urge to take a drive to VA Beach... so I did.  Figured I'd share some photos here.  I'll start with the ones right on the coast.  The ones growing on the dunes looked more like shrubs.

0928191617_HDR.jpg

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SEVA

They get larger as you go inland.  These are still pretty small though and just behind the dunes.

0928191618a_HDR.jpg

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SEVA

This was one of the larger ones, but still kinda small when compared to the ones farther inland.  I saw a very large live oak as I was driving through Chesapeake, but was unable to take a picture.  It looked quite old too.

0928191414_HDR.jpg

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Meangreen94z

I think about 50% of local homes have one either in the front or back. It’s usually either that or a pine. They provide excellent shade and need almost no maintenance beyond occasional trimming. The variation of Live Oak I like best is along the coast, especially near Rockport, TX. The constant wind forces them to grow low and branch into wicked windswept shapes.images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTdd2XPLrIAo6Rx0U782qr

postcard_rockport_2.jpg

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Mxalex263

I gathered a whole bunch of acorns from southern live oaks that I have seen growing up in Richmond. There are 2 in front of my elementary school (Varina Elementary). 1 at the edgar allen poe museum, 2 big ones by the bank on broad street across from downtown lowes, 2 in short pump at Bar Louies, and one at the white house of the confederacy growing up the side of mcv hospital. I probably gathered 100 acorns and i let them sit in my truck cupholder for a month before i did anything with them. Did the float test on them in January and only 1 sank and it was from Varina Elementary. I planted it in a pot in my house with good drainage. Have it placed in a southern windowsill and watered it regulary. Still no roots or anything. What am I doing wrong? I want one of these trees in my yard. They can be grown in Richmond- Ive seen it. 

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Dghornock

We are in Glasgow Delaware, just 10 miles south of the Mason and Dixon Line. We have a southern live oak that is about 18 feet tall and about 15 feet wide, as well as 4 needle palm. Thank God they are all doing well. Our average annual temperature is about 7 degrees f and annual snowfall of 11.7 inches on average.

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EastCanadaTropicals
On 9/20/2019 at 11:46 PM, veeman55 said:

Can i grow Live Oak in zone 7a Detroit or Southern Ohio Cincinnati area?

Maybe they'd survive a few years in Cincinnati, but no way in Detroit. 

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EastCanadaTropicals
On 2/9/2017 at 4:10 PM, PalmTreeDude said:

Could I pull off growing a Live Oak here just south of Richmond on the boarder of zone 7a/7b? I heard they are hardy to zone 7a, they are native to the coast here.

Live oaks are much hardier than people give them credit for.

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EastCanadaTropicals
On 9/20/2019 at 11:46 PM, veeman55 said:

Can i grow Live Oak in zone 7a Detroit or Southern Ohio Cincinnati area?

I recommend willow oak instead.

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PalmTreeDude
On 4/4/2021 at 1:46 PM, EastCanadaTropicals said:

Live oaks are much hardier than people give them credit for.

Yeah, after I originally posted this I learned of a few Southern Live Oaks around my location. 

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