Those of southern provenance can easily be grown in USDA zone 7 and the Texas Live Oak (Quercus virginiana var. fusiformis), having the same evergreen foliage as the Southern variety, can be grown with success in areas as cold as zone 6. Even with significant winter leaf burn, these trees can make a strong comeback during the growing season in more northerly areas such New Jersey, southern Ohio, and southern Connecticut.
Quercus virginiana Live oak @ tree bonsai seed 10 seeds
Depending on the growing conditions, live oaks vary from the shrubby to large and spreading: typical open-grown trees reach 15 meters (50 feet) in height, but may span nearly 50 meters. Their lower limbs often sweep down towards the ground before curving up again. They can grow at severe angles, and Native Americans used to bend saplings over so that they would grow at extreme angles, to serve as trail markers.
They drop their leaves, and grow new ones, within a few weeks in spring. The bark is furrowed longitudinally, and the acorns are small, but long and tapered. The branches frequently support other plant species such as rounded clumps of ball moss, thick drapings of Spanish moss, Resurrection fern, and parasitic mistletoe.
Southern live oak can grow in moist to dry sites. They can withstand occasional floods and hurricanes, and are resistant to salt spray and moderate soil salinity. They tend to survive fire, because often a fire will not reach their crowns. Even if a tree is burned, its crowns and roots usually survive the fire and sprout vigorously.
Furthermore live oak forests discourage entry of fire from adjacent communities because they provide dense cover that discourages the growth of a flammable understory. Although they grow best in well-drained sandy soils and loams, they will also grow in clay. Live oaks are also surprisingly hardy.