Live Oak Project
  Jul 17, 2007 08:38 PDT 

Measured two Live Oaks yesterday in Pea Ridge, Fla., a small community
between Pace and Milton. The Wesley Methodist Live Oaks, CBH-28',
Spread-150', Height-66', CBH-27', Spread-108' and Height-48'. 
wmimage001a.jpg (162811 bytes) wmimage002a.jpg (141186 bytes)
wmimage003a.jpg (184365 bytes) wmimage004a.jpg (156182 bytes)

There were many large Live Oaks on this property, I measured two of the 
larger ones. These two make #10 and #15 on the listing, both are single
root, multi-trunked trees. 

ltimage001a.jpg (146095 bytes) ltimage002a.jpg (116708 bytes)

A large tree on the property was struck by
lightning earlier in the year, killing the tree. The remains were in a
pile. I measured one cut at 4'6" Dia. The growth rates were .375 to .250
on this cut, quite rapid. I have photos and will send them to Ed. 


RE: Live Oak Project   Edward Frank
  Jul 17, 2007 19:32 PDT 


It is a very difficult question on how to distinguish whether a
particular live oak is simply low branching or if it has multiple piths
at ground level. The trees photographed by Larry Tucei as part of his
live oak project are fantastic to look at, but difficult to interpret.
Many are clearly single trunked with a branches spreading from this
single stem. Others clearly have separate distinct trunks at ground
level. Of the 46 trees on the list, from looking at the photos, there
are perhaps three or four that are clearly multi-trunked. Of the total
for which I have photos, there are a total nine that likely are
multi-trunked trees, but there are many more that are hideously
ambiguous. Live oaks in that setting tend to branch very low. The
cords from the roots extend upward and lead out to these branches. Is
this a sign of a separate trunk fused into one, or just the general form
of the tree? The general form of the tree, even in examples that are
clearly single stemmed, is to have this corded form. I don't really see
how to tell if many of the examples are single or multi-trunked short of
cutting them down.

I guess I will just need to rely on Larry, and others investigating
these trees to make the call based upon their examination of the trees
in person. From my perspective, and I know others will disagree, I
think the question is rather academic about whether these are single
trunked or multi-trunked. This is a common growth form of the tree,
likely the most common, and it should be respected as such, as if it
were a single tree regardless of the trunk form.     

For comparisons with other trees, in which multi-trunks are an anomaly,
I suppose it is reasonable that we compare single trunks with single
trunks, but for comparisons within the live oak species itself, I feel
they could be lumped all together. I will need to think about it some
more, and welcome your input on the question - but before dashing off a
quick off the cuff response, take time to look at all the photos of live
oaks posted on the website. Simply click on the Live Oak Project button
on the ENTS homepage, and then go down through the list of live oak

Ed Frank