Another live oak experiment

poaky1November 26, 2011

I have a Virginia seed source Q Virginiana seedling I'm gonna try. It may live a couple years and then die, but it's not expensive, it's a small one, so what the heck?

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Indeed. You never know what will survive short or long term outside of its normal zone. You may be pleasantly surprised, or you may just be out a few dollars.

Some of the things that have proven reliably hardy for me here in Michigan that technically shouldn't survive here are:

Crinums, dwarf Agapanthus, Alstroemeria, Passiflora incarnata, the blue form of Giant Sequoia, Magnolia grandiflora.

Check out the link for a photo of a spruce tree growing well beyond the normal tree line, and north of the Arctic Circle, in 1950's Alaska.

Here is a link that might be useful: For Inspiration, not a real National Forest, but it plays one on TV:

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 8:01PM
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I would suggest that you grow it as a containerized/winter-protected tree for a few years until it gets somewhat bigger.--They grow FAST. I believe they are supposed to be hardy to 7b--somewhat less hardy than M. grandiflora--despite the Southern magnolias more tropical appearance. I want to plant mine but I am running out of space--they want to be BIG trees eventually. I have so many trees down now behind my yard due to storm damage, I may have a position soon. Beautiful trees they are and do do quite well in containers if you cannot plant in the ground in the near future.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 3:24PM
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The lone spruce was interesting to see njoasis. I have 2 southern Mags too. I just planted them this past season, hope they'll like it here. I would have liked to have more than one tree of the southern live oak but I'm getting it from someone in Virginia and am glad to get any. They aren't a nursery. The guy who I am getting it from says it's experienced -7 F so that's zone 6. I can keep it in a pot, but it still needs to experience cold for dormancy. I don't want it to be too coddled and then put it out once it gets some size and shock it. Maybe if I bury the pot in the ground in our barn, it will be cold but protected too. I have the smaller live oak Q Fusiformis in my yard and if the Q Virginiana doesn't work out it is ok. I just wanted to try the more northern Virginiana before I give up for good on the virginiana. Maybe one of those plant protector covers, the ones that are fabric that breathes, not plastic? I am running out of space too, I am finding places for the new ones but it's getting to be a forest,there's at least 30 ft between trees, some have more. Denninmi, I had a reg sequoia that just died after 6 years in the ground. I can't use that for the Live oak, we have wires overhead about 30 ft away. Njoasis do you have your live oak indoors in the winter or an unheated garage/basement? Well, thanks for the feedback.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 5:55PM
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Do you know the CULTIVAR of Southern Magnolia that you have. There are SOOOOO many and it can make a difference believe me.--Not only for cold, most are cold hardy enough here in zone 7, but in terms of how they deal with snow loads--especially, wet, heavy snows (the type we seem to specialize in here!). Interestingly, it was the NORTHERN (deciduous) magnolias that took a BIG hit during the Halloween snowstorm as these trees were in still green at the time and the snow collapsed or split them in two!--My evergreen/southern ones did fine though.
My Live Oak is protected in a frost free but cold garage--there is some sun as it faces due south and has windows in place of garage doors. Protecting your tree while young will not make it more tender from cold. Your tree will either survive in your area or not. A protected plant only becomes more vulnerable from cold damage if it has not been hardened off before exposure to cold temperatures. But I am afraid your zone is still too cold for this tree to survive long term. I love them too and want mine in the ground but will wait till the spring to see what is still standing in the back as the canopy opens up due to storm damage. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 5:38PM
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I don't expect the Q Virginiana to live indefinately or very long here. I do expect my Quercus Fusiformis to though. It would be nice to get 5 or 6 years at least. I feel bad for you njoasis that you have the zone 7 warmth for live oak but wet snows may make it hard to keep them for very long. You should try the Q Fusiformis, some Oklahomans on here have seen their toughness in person. I saw a story on the weather channel that showed them loaded with ice and they had all their leaves still and were not leaning or anything. The time of the story meant they were evergreen trees and by the shape they were live oak and they were in Oklahoma city. They weren't big like the Virginiana, I don't think Virginiana grows in Ok city.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 8:07PM
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I haven't got the tree yet. Hopefully the guy meant it when he said he'd send it. I forgot to answer you about Southern Magnolia cultivars. I got it from Mossy oak nurseries. I don't think there was a name, so it must be species S. Mag. It said zone 6, so that must be cold hardy for it. They mention verifying hardiness their own selves. I got 2 but paid for 1 so if one goes it's okay. Besides the tree (live oak) I have acorns of fusiformis and a hybrid of live oak that's got the shape of Virginiana and the stripes of Fusiformis. Could be live and any oak nearby. In the spring we'll see. Sorry if I blabbed too much.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 9:14PM
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I got the Virginia seedling, he sent me 2 instead of 1. The leaves are wider than down south, to be expected I guess. I have one in the ground, and I will make a breathable fabric tent around it, and the other is potted and will be brought in on any surprise super cold nights. I have it where I can open the basement door and move it easy.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:33PM
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I planted the 2 oaks outside in fall and they looked good for a long while but they must've started to think it was spring and got shot down by a cold blast, because they went downhill quickly. So I have 1 dried bare twig and the other is just gone. We have cats and I think the dead twig got dug up by a cat. But either way the Quercus Virginiana is not going to be grown in my yard outside with success EVER!!! A nd I have tried and failed, unless global warming gets really bad. The Quercus Fusiformis is doing great though, but that is not a surprise, they are rated zone 6 hardy. I'll update the thread on Q F and add pics as soon as I can.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 7:36PM
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