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Majestic Live Oaks

A sturdy swing.
A sturdy swing.

Live oak trees are a symbol of strength in the southern regions of the United States. Growing mostly in the coastal plains, spanning from Virginia throughout southern Texas.The live oak tree normally grows in low sandy soils near the Coast but also occurs in moist rich woods and along stream banks. 

Louisiana Live Oak
Kat Brown Photography

The yellowish-brown wood is hard, heavy, tough, strong, and is used for structural beams, shipbuilding, posts, and in places requiring strength and durability. Live oak ranks as one of the heaviest native hardwoods, weighing 55 pounds per cubic foot when air dry. This weight or density makes live oak a good fuel wood although it can be very difficult to split.

The national champion live oak was discovered in 1976 near Louisburg, Louisiana. It had a diameter of 11.65', height of 55', and crown spread of 132'. The Florida champion live oak, as given in the 1984 revised list, was found in Alachua County and measured 108" in diameter, 83' in height, and had a spread 150.5'.

The live oak can produce a great abundance of fruit called acorns that provide a treat for a variety of animals and are of value to many birds and mammals including wild turkeys, wood ducks, jays, quail, whitetail deer, raccoons, and squirrels. The acorns are ¾" to 1" long, broadest at the base to almost uniformly wide and rounded to pointed at the tip. Acorns are light brown within the cap that covers ¼ of the dark nut. The largest part of the acorn is dark brown to black and shiny. They occur solitary or in clusters of three to five nuts, and they mature in one season on the current year's branchlets.

They support many epiphytic plants including the Spanish Moss, which gives its incredibly beautiful canopy of limbs a striking appearance. These trees can remind you of a tree of life in a sense; the strength and symblance of ones family tree, as they rarely break only bending with graceful beauty while the wind billows through their forever green foliage.The solid trunk supports this canopy of its prideful essence and one can stand in awe of it's towering glory, gorgeous foliage and majestic presence of strength.


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