Q:

What are some tips for caring for live oak trees?

A:

Quick Answer

Care for a live oak tree by placing it in an area with full sun or partial shade, using soil with a slightly acidic pH and fertilizing it regularly. Prune the tree often for shape or to prevent sprawling, leggy limbs.

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Full Answer

Plant a live oak only in an area with warm, moist weather and mild winters. In the United States, suitable areas include Georgia, Virginia, Texas, and areas in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 10 with minimum temperatures of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The tree can't survive prolonged freezing temperatures and icy weather. The live oak thrives in soil types ranging from well-draining loam to poor-draining clay as long as the pH stays within the neutral to slightly acidic range.

Water a young live oak well, keeping the soil moist. Once it becomes established, water it no more than once a month using a drip system for a slow, gradual soaking. Cease watering the tree during the winter, allowing the winter rain and snow to water it. If the winter's dry, wait until spring to water it. Feed the plant a high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer three times during the growing season.

Because live oaks are sprawling trees that grow rapidly, prune them regularly for shape. Remove any dead and damaged wood, and trim back any awkward or leggy limbs.

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