Live oaks (Quercus virginiana) do not grow where I live, so this is a long distance love. I returned from a trip to the South Carolina coast, which is why I've been missing in gardening action recently. I spent four years living in Florida and that's when my love for live oaks began. They are like no other oak trees I have met. I love the way they sprawl out with branches that become homes for ferns and Spanish moss. This trip I met an amazing live oak known as the Angel Oak. It is estimated to be ~1,500 years old. The oldest tree east of the Rockies. It was amazing!
At first I was disappointed that there were so many other people visiting the Angel Oak, but without them you wouldn't be able to tell the massive size of this tree.
The branches are crawling on the ground and are contorted into amazing shapes:
On these branches live an entire ecosystem of other plants:
And just look at the size!
I wish I could bring a live oak home with me, but I know they like warm weather and sandy soils. It would not be happy living in the clay here, so my love for live oaks will have to remain long distance. Oh and the beach was nice too.
Here's sunrise on Kiawah Island: