Live Oak – Growing in North Georgia

Q: My husband heard your caller from Athens about trying to grow a live oak there. You said it would probably not live.

We have one in Braselton that is now 13+ years old and doing very well. It’s had some leaf frost damage a couple of times with temps in the teens, but it was just superficial. It’s helpful that it is in an area of our yard where it doesn’t get the worst of northeast winds.

A: I’ve consulted four tree experts and they concur: you have a live oak, Quercus virginiana.

Although it is Georgia’s state tree, most online resources say it thrives only in the lower South. Chris Heim, from Davey Tree, says “I have randomly seen them in the metro area. I’m sure it can survive for a period of time but I doubt it will thrive.”

The Agnes Scott College Arboretum in Decatur is home to a live oak near the Alston Campus Center.

Good luck with yours!

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