Any large forest grown live oaks?

Reports and materials related to the Live Oak Project. The project was initiated by Larry Tucei to document the great live oak tree ((Quercus virginia) found in the southern United States.

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Re: Any large forest grown live oaks?

Post by Lucas » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:48 am

Click on image to see its original size

Seen in
The North American Forests: Geography, Ecology, and Silviculture
By Laurence C. Walker ... rs&f=false

Probably not high but the form is similar to the other pix. The twisted form of live oak is from its hypersensitive light trophism. I didn't know that.

There lots of factoids like that in the book.
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

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Re: Any large forest grown live oaks?

Post by addy » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:22 pm

In the Tosohatchee WMA in Orange County Florida there are substantial tracts of hydric hammock that show little to no evidence of logging and I think likely have an undisturbed forest structure that could go back thousands of years or even as far as the beginning of the holocene. Live Oaks often dominate this habitat and I've measured a dozen or so of the larger diameter ones I've found. None I've found so far are over 5.2' DBH and they all are much more wide than tall and aren't as tall as other surrounding species. Many of them have substantial sections that near completely horizontal. This agrees well with Bartram's observations. Not that I don't still dream of finding something like the colossal Lake Griffin Oak hidden away somewhere out there.

Also, northwest of the Tosohatchee is a 5.8' DBH Live Oak noted (presumably by the state DOF when they measured it) for being unusually straight and tall: ... statepark/

There's a good chance this oak however grew up with its surroundings largely cleared since the area it inhabits was subjected to forest leveling overhead skid logging for cypress sometime in the early 1900s. Literature states that under ideal conditions Live Oaks can reach 4'-6' DBH in as little as 75 years, so it's quite possible this oak is rather young and grew up in very unnatural conditions. I think it likely when they grow up under heavy forest cover the spreading habit is maximized because they're far superior than most trees at searching laterally for light, while height growth is relatively weak.

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Any large forest grown live oaks?

Post by Larry Tucei » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:48 pm

Lucas- Very interesting about the twisting of trunk. I often thought that the sunlight had something to do with the odd twisting in some Live Oaks. Larry

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Re: Any large forest grown live oaks?

Post by AndrewJoslin » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:08 am

This is a wild Live Oak grove that I stumbled upon while roaming dirt roads in Francis Marion National Forest (coastal South Carolina) in January 2015. It was a great relief to find after passing nearly endless tracts of young loblolly growing in rows. These were not monster trees but were very good sized. The overall form of the trees in the grove matches well with the other examples of forest-grown Live Oak shown previously in this thread. I was not carrying measuring gear but the trees were not overall tall perhaps in the 75' range max but impressive in girth and crown gnarl/form.

The understory was quite open suggesting the development of an oak/savannah habitat.

Click on image to see its original size

This one was the most vertical of the group, my hat for scale lower right, probably 13' CBH range, not a record breaker at all but a fine tree to encounter.

Click on image to see its original size

Looking down from the crown, surprisingly vertical tree considering the look of the grove in general.

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Re: Any large forest grown live oaks?

Post by Don » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:41 pm

While not all agree with this author, he's a good place to start:
Bonnicksen, T. M. 2000. America's Ancient Forests. New York: John Wiley & Sons. As I recall, he has extensive citations...
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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