Live Oak

Live OakLive Oak

Encino

Quercus virginiana Mill.

Whole plant

Family : Fagaceae

Longevity : Perennial

Origin : Native

Season : Cool

Live Oak can be found growing in sandy or gravelly soils of the Edwards Plateau and South Texas Plains. This tree can reach a height of 60 feet. The leaves are 1 to 4 inches long, 1/2 to 1 inch wide, and have smooth or lightly toothed margins. Live Oak blooms from March to May. The acorns are found in clusters of 3 to 5 and each have a cap covering about one half of its length and measure 1/3 to 1 inch long. Live Oak leaves and acorns are eaten by white-tailed deer, cattle, sheep, and goats. However, tannic acid poisoning may be a problem if eaten by livestock and can cause emaciation, edema, and mucous and/or blood in the feces. The acorns are also eaten by feral hogs, javelina, squirrels, turkeys and various other birds. Live Oak also provides shade and a place for nesting and roosting. The hard wood is used for ship building, furniture, and fuel. The bark is used to create tannin, a substance used to tan leather.

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