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Need Help! Tree Identification

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by chemi392, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,993

    My bets on it being a Water Oak boys......Quercus nigra

    Look at the link pics and then look at his pick.


    Also, whoever said earlier that a Live Oak and a Water Oak are the same tree are wrong. In addition, a Willow Oak and a Water Oak are very similar. The water oaks leaves are a bit wider where willow oaks are thinner looking.

    I think I'm right. :drinkup:
  2. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,247

    Yes it is a Water Oak. I have both Live Oaks that spread in the canopy and many Water Oaks. Water Oaks shed their leaves in late fall and winter while the Live Oaks retains their leaves until the spring when new growth pushes the old growth off. They are a pain to keep up just as the grass is beginning to come out of dormancy. They (Water Oaks) are also setting acorns now. There are a few Willow Oaks here and there in SC but nothing like the Water Oaks. They sprout from those acorns by the thousand and have got to be mowed even when the grass has gone dormant. Yet another pain. Hope this will help. To help your tree out: begin by pruning away a some of those thin branches and developing a main structure to the tree. Keep any suckers cut away and pruned back for the scaffolding to develop and get thick. It will take a long time to get a nice tree but if you leave it un-pruned it will get thick and bushy. Go for about 4-5 main limbs from that seemingly good straight trunk. Fertilize inside the drip line with a good all-purpose fertilize including some zinc.
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    It'll make a huge difference, particularly if the soil in your lawn is clay-based.
  4. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    You may very well be correct.

    If it is indeed a water oak, here's a much more comprehensive spec sheet:

    This spec sheet indicates that water oaks should be quite adaptable to wet areas, but often will develop chlorosis (yellowing) within the margins of the leaves in higher pH soils.
    This is the reason why knowing the results of soil test is a really good idea before you go about adding split-pea sulfur or cotton seed meal into the soil to gradually lower the pH.

    The spec sheet also is somewhat vague about water oak's specific pH preferences, indicating some tolerance of both alkaline AND acid soil.
    So this tells me that you should be shooting for a pH range in a year or two between about 6.5 to about 7.2.
    Or in other words, 'neutral'.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Not a good choice for a street or lawn tree. IMO, cut it down and plant something more appropriate.
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Now there's a curve ball coming from the ol' peanut gallery! :dizzy:

    Kiril, do you see any overhead wires along the street in the pictures the fellow from OK City posted?!? :confused:
  7. benjammin

    benjammin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Regardless of overhead power lines, cut that thing down. It will never look good. The leaves don't turn colors, just drop, twice a year, along with acrorns. I've got "native" water and willow oaks that I'm gradually hacking up. Eventually I'll get them all from around the edge of the grass and house and replace with some maples.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Is power lines the only thing you consider when choosing an appropriate street tree?
    Guess it must be amateur hour here.
  9. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    I was an amateur with trees when you were still sucklin' on you' momma.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    The trend around here at least is to get away from the 'same old same old' set of trees that's been traditionally offered by this region's landscape architects & designers.
    For decades it seems, all that's been grown in commercial nurseries around here for "street trees" have been assorted varieties of red maple, Norway maple, sugar maple, honeylocust, linden, grafted pear, purple ash & white ash.
    Now that a lot of folks have come to realize the long-term detriments of Bradford pear (particularly) in terms of high winds & limb breakage :cry:, they're hopefully going away or be replaced with newer pear varieties MUCH less prone to breakage.
    And the dreaded emerald ash borer coming in from the north will be killing off all the untreated ashes around here soon enough. :cry:

    Some of the 1st trees to come into the limelight a decade or so ago from the wholesale nurseries that were somewhat new to alot of local landscapers are the oaks.
    First, the Red Oak
    Then not too long after that...

    Bur oak
    Chestnut Oak
    Chinkapin Oak
    Sawtooth Oak
    Post Oak
    Swamp White Oak
    White Oak
    And they're being put into places where the broken Bradford pears and borer-ridden ashes once stood.

    And it's not just oaks that are new to front yards & streets! :waving:
    There's also
    Siberian Elm (blight resistant)
    London Planetree (improved Sycamore)
    Cottonless cottonwoods (proven to be male, without the noxious seed)
    Hackberry, improved varieties
    Tulip poplar
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009

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