Range/Geographical Distribution: Along the coast from Virginia to Mexico.
Habitat: Woodlands, sand ridges, maritime forests, and other dry areas along the southeastern coast.
Description: Short, thick trunk that is divided into many branches. Gray bark is deeply divided into furrows and becomes blocky with age. Leathery, green, oval leaves are pale gray/green below and can reach five inches in length.
Size: Can grow to more than 60 feet tall and have a limb spread of 80 feet.
Breeding: Produces acorns in the fall, some years copiously and some years none at all. Acorn caps cover about 1/3 of the nut and acorns are grouped in clusters of two to five.
Predators/Ecological Function: Epiphytes such as Spanish moss, resurrection fern, and ball moss are common along the branches of live oaks. Birds, bear, deer, and squirrels eat the acorns.
Conservation Status: No legal status.
Interesting Facts: The live oak retains its old leaves until new ones appear and is thus considered “evergreen”.
On the Coast: Live oaks are one of the most recognizable trees of the south and are common all along Georgia’s coast.