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Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaerica

Posted by lsst SC-7b (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 19:28

I have come across a lot of websites that state that Laurel Oak and Darlington Oak are the same tree. I know they are called the diamond leaf oaks and maybe that has caused confusion.

Does anyone know why this is?

The reason I ask is that I am trying to find a larger tree size in Quercus laurifolia which is hardy to zone 6 and can tolerate clay soils. All I can find in a larger size is Quercus hemisphaerica which prefers sandy soils and is hardy to zone 7.

The nursery selling the Quercus hemisphaerica is also calling it a Laurel Oak.

I have talked with two nurseries that sell both trees listed correctly but one only sells 1 gallon size and the other is wholesale only.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

  • Posted by lsst 7b (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 19:58

I just found an article about Quercus laurifolia being a laurel swamp oak and hemisphaerica being a laurel sand oak.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

Both are weed trees here in the Deep South, much like Water Oak. They grow fast, but they're also weak wooded and start to decay and break apart. The leaves are difficult to rake up and they fall all winter long requiring constant clean up. The acorns also get into every nook and cranny and germinate very easily. There are much better choices out there in my opinion.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

  • Posted by lsst 7b (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 22:21

Alabamatreehugger,

Thanks for your reply.
What would be a better choice for an evergreen or semi-evergreen oak that will do well in clay soil that is hardy to 0-10 degrees farenheit?


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

I don't really have a suggestion for an evergreen oak that's hardy to zone 6. You MAY be able to find a more northern seed source (VA or NC) for Live Oak that'll survive.

I can tell you though that Laurel Oak will not be evergreen in zone 6. Even here in zone 8 they start shedding leaves in the fall, it just happens so slowly that they don't get done until spring.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

Quercus fusiformis - been happily growing here since 1992.

Well, not as happily at -28F in 1994 and this year's low temps and ice storms - but toughing it out and evergreen through and through.

Should scream "Hallelujah!" to have relatively benign SC climate....


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

Really? There were some fusiformis that died here in MD at much warmer temps than that, about -16°F.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

Really? There were some fusiformis that died here in MD at much warmer temps than that, about -16°F.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

Really? There were some fusiformis that died here in MD at much warmer temps than that, about -16°F.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

Never mind...I think I was thinking of Q. myrsinifolia.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

I have two Quercus Virginiana trees that have been in the ground since 2008. The cold temps we had in January- several 5F degree nights with days below 32F has taken a toll on them.
They are about 20 feet tall.

I know that a lot of Darlington Oaks were planted in the 1960's in my area and have done well.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

Third times a charm, eh hairmetal4ever?

I received this Quercus fusiformis seedling at 4" tall from Steve Bieberich out in Oklahoma. Except for that impressive low temp winter while it was still wee (and under the snow), this tree has been a trooper.

It doesn't like ice loads, but it has straightened up each time the ice melts (2003, 2009, 2014 - and another on the way this evening, knock on wood) and kept going.

All its leaves are pretty winter burned right now, but I expect that with some spring warmth that new growth will emerge from the buds.

It has had acorns the past two seasons.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

I am not aware of Quercus fusiformis growing in SC. I am interested in it.


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RE: Questions regarding Quercus laurifolia and Quercus hemisphaer

Your existing Live oaks may look bad, but may come back in spring. I have hybrid Q. Virginiana in Pa zone 6. They breezed through last winter, and I am hoping like hell they survive this winter. I think the buds will put out nice leaves in spring. The buds look undamaged, although the leaves are tan, the leaves are still holding, so I have faith in the buds to releaf in spring. I have a Durand oak that kept it's leaves last winter. This winter I haven't checked it, the ground hasn't been dry enough for me to walk over the hill where the Durand is. My Q. Fusiformis is less hardy than my hybrid Q. Virginiana "late drop". The plant sources surely vary though.


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