Live Oaks
  Jan 24, 2007 07:22 PST 

Yesterday I went to a small city along the West Pascagoula River, called
Gautier, Ms. There are many Live Oaks there and one Large Magnolia. I
wanted to Measure a few, so off I went. Having lived here in my youth I
knew the area well. I first went to the Old Place Plantation. A
beautiful area on a ridge adjacent to the Pascagoula River. Established
in the 1800's, it has many Live Oaks and 4 or 5 Old Homes. It was
closed, but I shall return to measure some Oaks there at a later time. I
then proceeded westward to an area in Gautier called Sandalwood. It to
has many Live Oaks and I just measured a couple of average trees here.
CBH 18', Spread 106', Height 69', CBH 16', Spread 108', and Height 66'.

Traveling still westward along the Sound I stopped at a place called
Seacliff. An area that was called Old Fields, in the 1800's. There is an
old home located here built in 1890's, the Lewis House. It still stands
with minor damage from Hurricane Katrina. On the westside side from it
stands like a sentinel a large Live Oak unscathed from the storm. CBH
21', Spread 120', and Height 66'.         
My next stop was in Biloxi at a place called
Popp's Ferry. I had seen a Large Live Oak there earlier in the year and
knew it needed further investigation. The Methodist Church owns the
Property so I got permission from them to Photograph and Measure this
tree. The Oak has a Fern growing all along its limbs, called
resurrection Fern. It's has two limbs that grow 5' above the ground 75'
from its trunk with this Fern covering them. CBH 22', Spread 131.5, and
Height 45'. There are so many of these Majestic Live Oaks along the
Coast that I've just touched the tip of the Iceberg! Ed, I'll send some


Back to Larry Tucei   Robert Leverett
  Jan 24, 2007 09:47 PST 


Hence forth you shall be known as "Live Oak Larry" in honor of your
championing of this wonderful species. In New England, we occasionally
come across a tree that measures 20 feet or more in girth. The species
may be a sycamore, some kind of oak, tuliptree, silver maple, black
willow, cottonwood, elm, or maybe an ash. A few other species make it to
20 feet around, but unless you know their whereabouts, you might spend
your entire life up here and never encounter a 20-footer among the other
native species. The 20-foot girth trees in New England form a pretty
exclusive club. However, the number of live oaks with girths over 20
feet is absolutely amazing. I'm wondering if the live oak isn't the most
common eastern species to reach girths of 20 feet. What would be its
biggest competitors? Sycamore for sure, but after that? In the deep
South are there any species that come even remotely close? I presume
that once upon a time, there were many bald cypresses that exceeded 20
feet, but would they equal the number of live oaks?

Will Fell,

   How many live oaks do you know of that reach 20 feet in girth? Does
the live oak have in competitors in southern Georgia?


RE: Back to Larry Tucei
  Jan 24, 2007 09:59 PST 

Thanks Bob. Your Question has sent me on another mission. What southern
trees would equal or exceed the Live Oak in Circumference? For sure Bald
Cypress, maybe Gum, some Red Oaks and maybe even a White Oak species.
Lets find out. Larry  
RE: Back to Larry Tucei
  Jan 24, 2007 10:35 PST 

    Great! We look forward to a full exploration of the Deep South possibilities. Most of us were blown away by the water tupelo found by our intrepid Ents in Arkansas. Don Bragg briefed us on the discovery at the recent ENTS rendezvous in western Massachusetts. In terms of the huge-girth trees, moving northward, supposedly there is a sycamore in southern PA that is 30 feet in circumference. Is it a single tree? I don't know. Scott Wade must rule on that. There are a few legitimate trees that make 30 feet around, but so far live oak, bald cypress, and sycamore are the only current day eastern species of which I am aware that do it multiple times.

    Hey, as an idea, maybe ENTS should start the exclusive 25 and over club for trees that reach that girth dimension. It would be the equivalent of one of our tall tree clubs. Those full-figured trees need love too.

RE: Back to Larry Tucei   Will Blozan
  Jan 24, 2007 14:19 PST 

Let's not forget tuliptree!
RE: Back to Larry Tucei   Willard Fell
  Jan 24, 2007 16:41 PST 
Twenty foot CBH is not uncommon on the coast. Mainly along old roads and buildings (sites). There are Baldcypress and Water Tupelo with larger circumferences, but these are due to butt swell, the trees themselves do not compare to live oaks. I would say the next largest to the Live Oak would be the Sycamores and Laurel Oaks.

Back to Will Fell   Robert Leverett
  Jan 25, 2007 05:40 PST 


Can you tell us more about laurel oaks? I so seldom get to the deep
South that the laurel oak is merely a name to me. It seems to go by many
names with identification of the species confusing (more
hybridization?). What is the wood like? What niche does it fill? Reading
the silvicultural review of the species, I gather its wood is not very
desirable, the acorns a fairly good source of food for wildlife, and it
is a desirable ornamental.