Featured Tree: Oak

The oak tree is a favorite for many people who want to incorporate beauty and shade into their landscapes, but many property owners aren't aware of some of its interesting facts. The Grounds Guys® is featuring this highly popular species to enlighten you not only about some of its history but about its care, regions where the oak tree thrives, allergies and other information you'll find both interesting and useful.

Tree incorporated in landscape

Interesting facts about oak trees

  • The trunks and branches of oak trees were once used for canes, plow shanks, building ships and yoke for oxen in Israel as the oak was an essential source of hardwood.
  • The oak tree has been chosen by several countries as the national tree because of the fact it is a recognized symbol of endurance and strength. Some German coins display oak branches, and in 2004 the oak became America's National Tree after legislation was passed by Congress. Other countries who have chosen oak trees as their national tree include France, Germany, England, Lithuania, Romania, Jordan and others.
  • The oak tree is recognized around the world for its strong trunk and has been used on stamps, seals, flags, documents and other symbolic objects.
  • The Guinness World Records featured an oak tree more than 1,000 years old, a tree referred to as the Bowthorpe Oak in Bourne, Lincolnshire.

Because of their ability to withstand strong storms and their almost royal presence, oak trees are naturally desired by home and business owners who desire the beauty and strength of a truly magnificent tree.

Is your region conducive to growing oak trees?

Oak trees love many conditions including those with dry air such as desert regions, those with wet winter seasons and dry summer months, even subtropical rain forests. There are hundreds of species, some that are evergreens such as the live oak and others that are deciduous.

USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9 are where white oaks grow best, while red oaks thrive in zones 3 through 8. Live oaks do best in USDA zones 9 and 10, although the Quercus virginiana live oak also does well in zone 8.

Caring for oak trees

Oak trees grow to great heights and often have large canopies, so it's vital to plant where there is plenty of space. Consider whether power lines may be an issue, and plant well away from sidewalks, septic tanks, driveways, water lines and other things where tree roots could become an issue.

For new oak trees, plant in soil that drains well. Water every day for the first two to three weeks, enough so the water reaches planting depth. During weeks four and five you'll only need to water every two or three days. Beginning around the sixth week watering can drop back to once per week for the remainder of the first year. About an inch per week is sufficient, then an inch every couple of weeks during the second year. It's important not to over-water oak trees as this can result in root rot.

March, April, and May are the months when oak trees pollinate, so allergy sufferers may experience a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes and other common allergy symptoms.

Pruning and trimming are vital to the shape, beauty, and health of your oak tree; leave this to the professional landscapers at The Grounds Guys! Contact us for your lawn care, landscaping and tree maintenance needs!