Growing Oaks

Growing Oaks
There are many kinds of oaks with some of them being native. The trees are generally free of pest and diseases with the exception being the oak wilt disease and caterpillars.

The oaks are among the largest of the hardwood native trees and among the longest lived of all the trees. These are shapely magnificent trees. They have lovely glossy green foliage. The leaves provide some of the best fall color.

The hardiness, size, and appearance can vary greatly, according to the species being grown.. Some oaks are widely cultivated with many kinds being fairly common in cultivation.

For the most part, oaks prefer deep rich soils. Certain species are hard to transplant.

Avoid pruning the top of the main stems of oaks because these have a main single trunk. Pruning this will result in a tree with a stubby head and several main branches.

Choose oaks that are suitable for your garden’s soil type as some demand acid conditions. Some species that are recommended for alkaline situations include live oak and chinkapin oak. Although almost all of the oaks are trees, there are two shrubby species, which are both known as scrub oaks. They are both native to the East, although one of them does grow westward to Texas.

Two of the recommended oaks are the live oak and the red oak

Live Oak

Live oak is recommended for the South. Hardy to zone 6, it can also be grown in parts of the West as well. It is one of the most picturesque trees found in the region.

This round headed native reaches 40 to 70 feet in height and twice as wide. The trunk is just massive.

This native will be evergreen in the Deep South and other warm areas. Elsewhere, it is deciduous. The plant is native to the Southeast.

The tree is often festooned with strands of Spanish moss. The plant has a medium to fast growth rate, and prefers a moist, rich, deep soil.

The unlobed leaves are up to 5 inches long and are hairy beneath.

Red Oak

This fast growing tree is also called the northern red oak. Hardy to zone 3, it isn’t terribly tall compared to some other oaks, only 75 feet in height. Red oak is native to the Central states and the Northeast.

The species is widely cultivated in the area. The tree transplants well. In the wild, it has a round top. The leaves have 3 to 11 sharp pointed bristly lobes. The foliage turns orange or red in the fall.

The leaf stalks and new leaves are red in the spring. This plant needs a moist, rich soil.

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