W. R. Harms
Live oak (Quercus virginiana), also called Virginia live oak, is evergreen with a variety of forms, shrubby or dwarfed to large and spreading, depending upon the site. Usually live oak grows on sandy soils of low coastal areas, but it also grows in dry sandy Woods or moist rich woods. The wood is very heavy and strong but is little used at present. Birds and animals eat the acorns. Live oak is fast-growing and easily transplanted when young so is used widely as an ornamental. Variations in leaf sizes and acorn cup shapes distinguish two varieties from the typical, Texas live oak (Q. uirginiana var. fusiformis (Small) Sarg.) and sand live oak (Q. virginiana var. geminata (Small) Sarg.) (4).
General: This native tree can grow to an average of 50 feet tall and 36-48 inches in diameter, but can have trunks over 70 inches in diameter. The bark is furrowed longitudinally, and the small acorns are long and tapered. The bark and twigs are dark to light grayish color and becomes darker with age. The leaves are thick, shiny, and dark green on top, lighter below. Small flowers are produced when new leaves are grown. The fruit, which is an acorn, has a 1 inch long cup, somewhat narrowed at the base. Root crowns and roots survive fire and sprout vigorously.
Distribution: Live oak is most commonly found on the lower Coastal Plain of southeastern United States.
For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Virginia live oak
Regularity: Regularly occurring
from southeastern Virginia to Florida, including the Florida Keys, and west
to southeastern Texas [21,31].
Regional Distribution in the Western United States
This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):
13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont
14 Great Plains
Occurrence in North America
TN TX VA MEXICO
-The native range of live oak.
Live oak grows in moist to dry sites. It withstands occasional floods, but not constant saturation. It is resistant to salt spray and high soil salinity. Live oak grows best in well-drained sandy loam soils but also grows in clay and alluvial soils. Live oak is intermediate in shade tolerance.
Southern live oak is a shrubby to large and spreading, long-lived, nearly
evergreen tree. It drops its leaves and grows new leaves within several
weeks in the spring. Open-grown trees average 50 feet (15 m) in height
and 36 to 48 inches (91-122 cm) in d.b.h., but can have trunks up to 79
inches (200 cm) in d.b.h. The rounded crowns may span 150 feet (46 m)
or more [20,21]. Lower limbs sweep to the ground and then curve upward.
Southern live oak growing at an angle of up to 45 degrees can still support a
great mass of limbs. The bark is furrowed longitudinally, and the small
acorns are long and tapered. Trees usually have rounded clumps of ball
moss or thick drapings of Spanish moss [19,21].
Southern live oak grows in moist to dry sites. It withstands occasional floods,
but not constant saturation . It is resistant to salt spray and
high soil salinity. Southern live oak grows best in well-drained sandy soils and
loams but also grows in clay and alluvial soils . It grows up to
328 feet (100 m) in elevation . The native range of southern live oak
coincides approximately with the southeastern maritime sand strands
, as well as with the 41.9 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 deg C) isotherm
for the average minimum daily temperature of the coldest month .
Although generally considered a mesophytic species, southern live oak is common
on xeric, mesic, and hydric hammocks in the southeastern United States.
(A hammock is a dense, hardwood forest that occurs in pinelands and in
limited, elevated areas amidst wet prairies and marshes.) Although southern live oak
is absent from the wetter areas in hydric hammocks , it occurs
in some hammocks where its roots are covered by salt water during high
tide . Southern live oak also occurs in flatwood sites and on the outer
terraces of floodplains .
In addition to overstory associates mentioned in SAF cover types, common
associates of southern live oak include southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora),
water oak (Quercus nigra), pignut hickory (Carya glabra), red bay
(Persia bobonia), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), and saw palmetto
(Serenoa repens). On less well-drained sites, southern live oak is associated
with sugarberry (Celtis laevigata), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica),
and American elm (Ulmus americana) . Woody species found with southern
live oak in mottes include American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana),
yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), and greenbrier (Smilax spp.) . Netleaf
hackberry (Celtis reticulata) and cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia) grow
with southern live oak in riparian areas in Texas .
Key Plant Community Associations
bordering coastal and inland marshes.
This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):
FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine
FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress
FRES32 Texas savanna
Habitat: Cover Types
This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):
66 Ashe juniper - redberry juniper
67 Mohrs oak
69 Sand pine
71 Longleaf - scrub oak
73 Southern redcedar
74 Cabbage palmetto
84 Slash pine
89 Live oak
111 South Florida slash pine
Habitat: Plant Associations
This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):
K060 Mesquite savanna
K061 Mesquite - acacia savanna
K062 Mesquite - live oak savanna
K085 Mesquite - buffalograss
K086 Juniper - oak savanna
K090 Live oak - sea oats
K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest
K112 Southern mixed forest
K115 Sand pine scrub
Soils and Topography
Live oak is monoecious. Germination is hypogeal and occurs shortly after seedfall if the site is moist and warm. Live oak is fast growing if well watered and soil conditions are good. Seedlings grow 4 feet in the first year. Under ideal conditions, a live oak can attain a dbh. of 54 inches in less that 70 years. Live oak sprouts from the collar and roots, and forms dense clones up to 66 feet in diameter.
Associated Forest Cover
Live oak is a minor species in seven other forest cover types: Longleaf-Scrub Oak (Type 71), Southern Redcedar (Type 73), Cabbage Palmetto (Type 74), Slash Pine (Type 84), South Florida Slash Pine (Type 111), Ashe Juniper-Redberry Juniper (Type 66), and Mohrs Oak (Type 67).
The ant Temnothorax obturator has been found nesting in galls of live oaks in Texas.
Diseases and Parasites
Live oak decline, a wilt disease attributed to Ceratocystis fagacearum, has been reported in Texas where it is killing thousands of trees annually. The disease is also suspected to occur in other Southern States as well and is considered a potentially serious problem (2,3). Leaf blister, caused by Taphrina caerulescens, periodically results in considerable defoliation.
A borer, Archodontes melanopus, commonly attacks roots of young oaks on the Atlantic Coast and may prevent the trees from developing normal form.
In some localities, mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.) grows on the branches. Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), though an epiphyte, may damage trees because it accumulates in great abundance and decreases light reaching the interior and lower parts of the crown (6).
Fire Management Considerations
killing juniper and improving grass and forage quality. If fires are
frequent, however, large southern live oak mottes will eventually be eliminated
Lack of fire in oak savannas in Texas results in increased, dense,
thickets of southern live oak. Fire cannot be used to restore savannas because
fire results in increased stem densities. Frequent fires keep oak under
control, but do not eradicate it .
In Florida, fires during a dry, growing season may reduce southern live oak-saw
palmetto hammock fringe habitat and restore prairie .
Plant Response to Fire
If top-killed, young southern live oaks sprout from the root collar and from
roots. Most sprout growth occurs in the first postfire year [1,2].
Southern live oak stem densities increased after a prescribed fire of scrubby
southern live oak plots in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas
Coastal Plain. Acorn production was reduced in the first postfire year,
but increased to preburn levels in the second year. Top-killed southern live oak
is capable of flowering and producing acorns on sprouts in the first
postfire year. Mottes containing large southern live oaks did not burn .
The same plots in the Aransas National Wildlife refuge were burned every
2 years for 10 years. After 10 years, acorn production was reduced
compared to unburned plots, but the density of southern live oak stems remained
higher than preburn levels. Height growth was kept at a minimum by the
biennial fires. Large mottes were more susceptible to burning with each
subsequent fire .
Immediate Effect of Fire
Fire top-kills southern live oak. Dominant southern live oaks can survive low-severity
fire that does not crown. Dominant southern live oaks larger than 3 inches (8
cm) in d.b.h. survived a fire on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Smaller
trees were top-killed .
The root crown and roots of young top-killed southern live oaks survive most
fires. A dry season hot fire in Florida killed and top-killed many southern live
oak that had invaded a prairie from a nearby hammock. Southern live oaks greater
than 12 inches (30 cm) in d.b.h. did not recover by sprouting, but
smaller oaks did. Dominant southern live oaks in the established hammock areas
were not killed .
The average surface fire is hot enough to destroy all acorns on the
Southern live oak has thin bark and is readily top-killed by fire. This species
has two primary means of surviving fire: (1) Root crowns and roots
survive fire and sprout vigorously, and (2) southern live oak forests discourage
entry of fire from adjacent communities (see below) [10,33].
The large, spreading oak canopy encloses a humid microclimate. The
leaves are concave and, as litter, hold moisture to the ground. The
moist environment discourages fire entry and keeps fire temperatures low
. In East Texas, southern live oak is considered fire tolerant as long as
humidities are above 45 percent .
There is generally a space between the understory and canopy which
prevents fire from crowning. Saw palmetto will carry fire into a southern live
oak stand, but it burns close to the ground . The dense southern live oak
canopy inhibits growth of understory vegetation (e.g. grass) and litter
is sparse [47,52].
Southern live oak litter burns at lower temperatures than the litter of turkey
oak (Quercus laevis), post oak, or longleaf pine [52,25]. During an
experimental fire, temperatures were measured from the base of southern live oaks
to the adjacent grassland. The maximum temperatures on the litter
surface decreased from 412 degrees Fahrenheit (211 deg C) in the
grasslands to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 deg C), on average, at the base
of the southern live oaks .
More info for the terms: climax, competition, fire suppression, mesic, presence, xeric
Southern live oak is intermediate in shade tolerance. Once established, it
withstands competition. Southern live oak is extremely salt tolerant, and this
resistance may account for its dominance in many climax coastal forests
in the northern part of its range . Southern live oak may also be a climatic
climax on Carolina coasts .
The exclusion of fire has increased the presence of southern live oak in the
Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains. In the absence of fire, southern live oak
expands from hammocks into dry, coastal prairies in Florida and
Louisiana. The expanding vegetation is dominated by southern live oak and saw
palmetto, which are characteristic of hammock fringe vegetation [16,24]
In the absence of fire, southern magnolia and southern live oak form a climatic
climax on former longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) savannas . Slash
pine (P. elliottii)-oak vegetation is also replaced by southern live oak .
In Texas, fire suppression and overgrazing have created a southern live oak-juniper
disclimax in place of mixed prairie .
Twenty-five years after abandonment, southern live oak seedlings appear in fallow
agricultural fields on floodplains that once supported southern live oak. A
southern live oak forest matures 50 years after seedling establishment .
In the absence of fire, xeric hammocks dominated by southern live oak, may
develop into mesic hammocks, but changes are slow .
Southern live oak is monecious. Acorns are produced annually and often in great
abundance . Acorns can be produced on root sprouts only 1 foot (0.3
m) high . Dissemination is by gravity and, to a lesser extent,
Germination is hypogeal and occurs shortly after seedfall if the site is
moist and warm. Few acorns overwinter since they are eaten by weevils
and animals . Southern live oak is fast growing if well-watered and soil
conditions are good. Seedlings can grow 4 feet (1.2 m) in the first
year, but this rate tapers off as size increases [19,45]. Under ideal
conditions, a southern live oak can attain a d.b.h. of 54 inches (137 cm) in less
than 70 years .
Southern live oak sprouts from the root collar and roots, and forms dense clones
up to 66 feet (20 m) in diameter .
Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)
Reaction to Competition
Life History and Behavior
Small flowers are produced in the spring when new leaves are grown.
Pollen is wind dispersed during the first 2 weeks in April. Acorns
mature the following September and fall before December [19,21].
Seed Production and Dissemination
Flowering and Fruiting
Growth and Yield
Evolution and Systematics
Live oaks survive strong winds because of high wood strength and a low canopy that branches out in multiple subdivisions without a main axis.
"The resistance of live oak has been related to the low deliquescent canopy and high wood strength and resilience (Touliatos & Roth 1971). The crowns of the larger live oaks were level with or below crowns of associated laurel and water oaks." (Gresham 1991:425)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Gresham, C. A.; Williams, T. M.; Lipscomb, D. J. 1991. Hurricane Hugo Wind Damage to Southeastern US Coastal Forest Tree Species. Biotropica. 23(4): 420-426.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Live oak hybridizes with Quercus bicolor (Q. x nessiana Palmer); Q. durandii; Q. lyrata (Q. x comptoniae Sarg.); Q. macrocarpa; Q. minima; and Q. stellata (Q. x harbisonii Sarg.).
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.
Pests and potential problems
Some of the pests that causes live oak decline is wilt disease, leaf blister, heartwood decay, gall wasps, and borers, which attacks roots of young live oak. Live oak is extremely susceptible to freezing temperatures and acid rain.
Dense stands of southern live oak reduce forage production for livestock. Southern live
oak is extremely hard to kill because it sprouts vigorously from the
root collar and roots . However, the soil-applied herbicide,
tebuthiuron, effectively controls southern live oak. In a study in Texas,
herbicide treatment of southern live oak increased grass yields in the first
posttreatment growing season and increased forb yields in 3 to 4 years
On the Edwards Plateau in Texas, southern live oak was reduced by 75 percent
after mechanical brush control, using the double chain method. The oaks
sprouted, but white-tailed deer browsing kept sprouts at ground level
for the first posttreatment year .
Southern live oak decline, a wilt disease caused by Ceratocystis fagacearum, is a
serious threat to Texas live oak (Q. fusiformis) and possibly southern live oak varieties in
other states as well . Fungicides are not effective because the
fungus colonizes deep in the sapwood. Southern live oak firewood should not be
transported into wilt-free areas because the fungus survives in dead
wood for up to 1 year .
Leaf blister, caused by Taphrina caerulescens, defoliates trees.
Heartwood decay (Polyporus dryophylus) is prevalent in southern live oak, but the
sapwood is so strong that infected trees usually remain standing .
Southern live oak is a favorite of gall wasps, but the galls do not appear to
affect the health of the trees .
Mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.), ball moss, and Spanish moss (Tillandsia
usneoides) live in southern live oak. Spanish moss accumulates in such
abundance, that it can shade out the lower parts on the crown and
interfere with photosynthesis. Spanish moss can be controlled by
A borer, Archodontes melanopus, attacks roots of young southern live oak .
Southern live oak is extremely susceptible to damage by freezing temperatures,
but it withstands hurricanes .
Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)
Materials are readily available through nurseries within its range. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
Once established, live oak withstands competition. It is extremely salt tolerant and this resistance may account for its dominance in many climax coastal forests in the northern part of its range. Dense stands of live oak reduce forage production for livestock. Live oak is extremely hard to kill because it sprouts vigorously from the root collar and roots.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Other uses and values
considered "one of the noblest trees in the world and virtually an
emblem of the Old South" .
In the past, southern live oak was used for ship building . Native Americans
produced an oil comparable to olive oil from southern live oak acorns . It
is believed that Native Americans used southern live oaks as trail markers by
staking saplings down, causing them to grow at extreme angles .
Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites
inoculated with either endo- or ectomycorrhizae have better growth and
development on these lignite overburden sites .
Southern live oak is used for reforestation of the southernmost portions of the
lower Mississippi Valley, which were originally cleared for agriculture
Southern live oak provides cover for birds and mammals. The threatened Florida
scrub jay nests in southern live oak . In southern Texas, southern live oak provides
nest sites for many species, including the hooded oriole, ferruginous
pygmy-owl, red-billed pigeon, northern beardless tyrannulet, and Couch's
kingbird. The tropical parula requires the rounded clumps of ball moss
(Tillandsia recurvata) found in southern live oak for nest construction .
sprouts are nutritious, with 13 to 17 percent crude protein .
The palatability, digestibility, and seasonal abundance of acorns make
them an important food source. Southern live oak acorns are low in protein, but
high in fat and fiber. The following table gives nutritional data in
dry weight percent for southern live oak acorns [38,40]:
Location protein fat N-free fiber calcium phosphorus
TX 5.61 1.84 44.00 16.52 0.86 0.16
TX 5.48 8.29 77.73 2.28
MS 5.22 8.59 67.95 16.71 0.18 0.08
AR 5.80 6.10 71.70 14.60 0.13 0.09
palatability diminishes after germination . New root sprouts are
also palatable .
Importance to Livestock and Wildlife
including northern bobwhite, Florida scrub jay, mallard, sapsuckers,
wild turkey, black bear, squirrels, and white-tailed deer. Because of
fall germination, the acorns are not available for very long . Southern live
oaks in Texas coastal prairies provide shade for wildlife and livestock
Wood Products Value
Erosion Control: This is an excellent species for reforestation to prevent erosion on originally cleared land for agriculture. It also has the potential for revegetating coalmine spoils.
Wildlife: The live oak acorns are important food source for many birds and mammals including northern bobwhite, Florida scrub jay, mallard, sapsuckers, wild turkey, black bear, squirrels, and white-tailed deer. This species provides cover for birds and mammals. The rounded clumps of ball moss that are found in live oak are necessary for nest construction.
Timber: The live oak wood is heavy and strong but of little use commercially.
Recreation and Beautification: Live oak is used for shade and as an ornamental. It is considered “one of the noblest trees in the world and virtually an emblem of the Old South”. Today live oaks are protected for public enjoyment.
Quercus virginiana, also known as the southern live oak, is a normally evergreen oak tree native to the southeastern United States. Though many other species are loosely called live oak, the southern live oak is particularly iconic of the Old South.
A large number of common names are used for this tree, including "Virginia live oak", "bay live oak", "scrub live oak", "plateau oak", "plateau live oak", "escarpment live oak", and (in Spanish) "encino". It is also often just called "live oak" within its native area, but the full name "southern live oak" helps to distinguish it from other live oaks, a general term for any evergreen species of oak.
This profusion of common names partly reflects an ongoing controversy about the classification of various live oaks, in particular its near relatives among the white oaks (Quercus subgenus Quercus, section Quercus). Some authors recognize as distinct species the forms others consider to be varieties of Quercus virginiana. Notably, the following two taxa, treated as species in the Flora of North America, are treated as varieties of southern live oak by the United States Forest Service: the Texas live oak, Quercus fusiformis (Q. virginiana var. fusiformis) and the sand live oak, Quercus geminata (Q. virginiana var. geminata).
Matters are further complicated by southern live oaks hybridizing with both the above two species, and also with dwarf live oak (Q. minima), swamp white oak (Q. bicolor), Durand oak (Q. durandii), overcup oak (Q. lyrata), bur oak (Q. macrocarpa), and post oak (Q. stellata).
Typical southern live oaks are endemic from southeast Virginia to Florida, including the Florida Keys, and west to southeast Texas. Texas live oaks grow primarily in Texas, on the Edwards Plateau and the Rio Grande Plain, but can be found as far west as Terrell County, Texas, in southwestern Oklahoma and northeastern Mexico. Sand live oaks grow from North Carolina to Florida in the east and Mississippi in the west.
Although typically evergreen, the leaves persisting until the time growth resumes in spring, a live oak's defoliation may occur sooner in marginal climates or in dry or cold winters.
The bark is dark, thick, and furrowed longitudinally. The leaves are stiff and leathery, with the tops shiny dark green and the bottoms pale gray and very tightly tomentose, simple and typically flattish with bony-opaque margins, with a length of .75 - 6 inches (2 – 15 cm) and a width of .4 - 2 inches (1 – 5 cm), borne alternately. The male flowers are green hanging catkins with lengths of 3 - 4 inches (7.5 –10 cm). The acorns are small, .4 - 1 inch (1 - 2.5 cm), oblong in shape (ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid), shiny and tan-brown to nearly black, often black at the tips, and borne singly or in clusters.
Depending on the growing conditions, live oaks vary from a shrub-size to large and spreading tree-size: typical open-grown trees reach 20 meters (60 feet) in height, with a limb spread of nearly 27 meters (80 feet). Their lower limbs often sweep down towards the ground before curving up again. They can grow at severe angles, and Native Americans used to bend saplings over so that they would grow at extreme angles, to serve as trail markers.
The southern live oak has a deep tap-root that anchors it when young and eventually develops into an extensive and widespread root system. This, along with its low center of gravity and other factors, makes the southern live oak extremely resistant to strong sustained winds, such as those seen in hurricanes.
The southern live oak grows in a wide variety of sites but has low fire-resistance and occurs most any place free from fire that is not too wet. They tend to survive fire, because often a fire will not reach their crowns. Even if a tree is burned, its crowns and roots usually survive the fire and sprout vigorously. Furthermore, live oak forests discourage entry of fire from adjacent communities because they provide dense cover that discourages the growth of a flammable understory. They can withstand occasional floods and hurricanes, and are resistant to salt spray and moderate soil salinity. Although they grow best in well-drained sandy soils and loams, they will also grow in clay. Live oaks are also surprisingly hardy. Those of southern provenance can easily be grown in USDA zone 7 and the Texas live oak (Quercus virginiana var. fusiformis), having the same evergreen foliage as the southern variety, can be grown with success in areas as cold as zone 6. Even with significant winter leaf burn, these trees can make a strong comeback during the growing season in more northerly areas, such New Jersey, southern Ohio, and southern Connecticut.
Primary uses for southern live oaks are providing food and shelter for wildlife. Among the animals for which live oak acorns are an important food source are the bobwhite quail, the threatened Florida scrub jay, the wood duck, yellow-bellied sapsucker, wild turkey, black bear, various species of squirrel, and the white-tailed deer. The tree crown is very dense, making it valuable for shade, and the species provides nest sites for many mammal species.
The live oak is the larval host plant for the hairstreak butterfly and oakworm moth.
Live oak wood is hard, heavy, and difficult to work with, but very strong. In the days of wooden ships, live oaks were the preferred source of the framework timbers of the ship, using the natural trunk and branch angles for their strength. The frame of USS Constitution was constructed from southern live oak wood harvested from St. Simons Island, Georgia, and the density of the wood grain allowed it to survive cannonade, thus earning it the nickname "Old Ironsides". Even today, the U.S. Navy continues to own extensive live oak tracts.
Southern live oak is cultivated for shade and as an ornamental. Care is relatively easy, as it requires very little watering while it is young. After it is four to five feet tall, watering can be forgotten, and no more care is required. It is long-lived; trees in excess of 500 years were once common.
- The Seven Sisters Oak is the largest certified southern live oak tree.
- The Angel Oak on Johns Island, South Carolina, near Charleston is estimated to be in excess of 700-years-old. It has a trunk circumference of 28 feet (8.5 m), height of 66 feet 6 inches (20.27 m) and limb spread of 187 feet (57 m).The Largest tree east of the Mississippi.
- The Big Tree an estimated 500-year-old southern live oak located in Rockport, Texas, the largest live oak in Texas.
- The Boyington Oak, an approximately 180-year-old southern live oak in Mobile, Alabama that is known for the folklore surrounding its origin.
- The Cellon Oak, with a circumference 30 feet (9.1 m), a height of 85 feet (25.9 m), and an average crown spread of 160 feet (48.8 m), is the largest recorded live oak tree in Florida. It is used as the logo of Alachua County, Florida.
- The Duffie Oak, a more than 300-year-old southern live oak in Mobile, Alabama has a trunk circumference of 30 feet 11 inches (9.42 m), height of 48 feet (15 m) and limb spread of 126 feet (38 m). It is the oldest living landmark in the city.
- The Emancipation Oak, on the campus of Hampton University in Virginia, is listed as one of the "Ten Great Trees of the World" by the National Geographic Society.
- The Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville, Louisiana.
- The Friendship Oak is a 500-year-old southern live oak located on the Gulf Park campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Long Beach, Mississippi.
- The Lover's Oak in Brunswick, Georgia, estimated to be 900 years old
- The Treaty Oak in Austin, Texas.
- The Treaty Oak in Jacksonville, Florida.
- Q. virginiana was first described and published in the Gardeners Dictionary, Edition 8. London. Quercus no. 16. 1768. "Plant Name Details for Quercus virginiana". IPNI. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- "Quercus virginiana Mill.-- The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Published on the Internet". www.theplantlist.org/. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- Bender, Steve, ed. (January 2004). "Quercus virginiana". The Southern Living Garden Book (2nd ed.). Birmingham, Alabama: Oxmoor House. ISBN 0-376-03910-8.
- "Quercus virginiana in Flora of North America @ efloras.org". www.efloras.org. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Nelson, Gil (1994), The Trees of Florida: A Reference and Field Guide, Sarasota, Florida, USA: Pineapple Press, p. 84, ISBN 1-56164-055-7
- Kurz, Herman; Godfrey, Robert K. (1962), Trees of Northern Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA: University Press of Florida, pp. 103–104, ISBN 978-0-8130-0666-6
- "Quercus virginiana: Southern Live Oak". University of Florida IFAS Extension. University of Florida. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- "Selecting Tropical and Subtropical Tree Species For Wind Resistance". University of Florida IFAS Extension. University of Florida. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- "Quercus virginiana Mill. live oak". Natural Resources Conservation Service. US Department of Agriculture. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
-  "The USA National Phenology Network — Quercus virginiana", Retrieved 2011-07-06
- "Landowner Fact Sheets - live oak". www.cnr.vt.edu. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
-  "Some Reflections on the South Florida of Long Ago", Retrieved 2011-07-06
- "History of the Angel Oak".
- Sledge, John S. (1982). Cities of Silence. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press. pp. 15, 19. ISBN 0-8173-1140-8.
- Pruitt, Paul M.; Higgins, Robert Bond (1963). "Crime and Punishment in Antebellum Mobile: The Long Story of Charles R. S. Boyington". Gulf Coast Historical Review 11 (Spring 1996): 6–40.
-  "Fun 4 Gator Kids — Cellon Live Oak", Retrieved 2011-07-06
-  "Cellon Oak Park", Retrieved 2011-07-06
- File:AlachuaCountyLogo.jpg "Alachua County Logo", Retrieved 2011-07-06
- Borland, Timothy (July 22, 2011). "Treehugger 4: Duffie Live Oak". Mobile Bay Magazine. PMT Publishing. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- Evangeline Oak Louisiana Historical Marker
The Houma used Quercus virginiana medicinally for healing dysentery (D. E. Moerman 1986).
Putative hybrids between Quercus virginiana and Q . minima are known, but care should be taken to avoid assigning hybrid status to clonal phases of Q . virginiana solely on the basis of habit. Hybrids with Q . fusiformis and Q . geminata are discussed under those species. Occasional putative hybrids with Q . stellata are also found, and those tend to be semi-evergreen with shallowly lobed leaves.
Some named putative hybrids are: Q . × burnetensis Little (= Q . macrocarpa × Q . virginiana ); Q . × comptonae Sargent (= Q . lyrata × Q . virginiana ); and the artificially produced hybrid, Q . × nessiana E. J. Palmer (= Q . bicolor × Q . virginiana ).
Names and Taxonomy
Virginia live oak
scrub live oak
The currently accepted scientific name of southern live oak is Quercus virginiana
Southern live oak hybridizes with dwarf live oak (Q. minima), swamp white oak (Q. bicolor),
Durand oak (Q. durandi), overcup oak (Q. lyrata), bur oak (Q.
macrocarpa), and post oak (Q. stellata) .
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