Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Love with Live Oaks

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:


  1. Those trees are fabulous aren't they. I love your sunrise photo - just beautiful.

  2. Oh My God! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.....just imagine if these trees could talk; perhaps they talk, we don't understand; how much wisdom and knowledge we were going to gain! they have been standing there and listening and watching for the last 1500 years!!! I hope the tree survives for another 1500 years or more. Recently in NJ, some municipality people in a county were going to chop down some 600+ year old oak trees; citizen action stopped it. I had been to Redwood forests in California; there also you have some of the world oldest and tallest trees; they just give you goosebumps. The trunks of the trees are so massive that those that have fallen down on the ground and the trunk has got hollowed, it has become like a cave and even 7 feet tall people can stand easily and move around inside that cave.

  3. Those are, indeed, lovely trees. They are so beautiful and ornate it would be like having a piece of sculpture in the garden. I enjoyed seeing all the photos of favorite is the one of several of them...stunning!

  4. Oaks are quite amazing, not only to live so long, but they can endure a lot hence the contorted shapes. We get to see some around here, but none like the ones in florida. Loved the sunset photo!

  5. That's a truly glorious tree! I've never seen anything like that before.

  6. Wow. What an amazingly AWESOME tree!