Caring For Live Oak Trees

In this article with HGTV, Chris Heim, district manager of Davey's Atlanta office, offers tips for maintaining live oaks to help them thrive in your yard. 

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Published: April 7, 2015

By Mick Telkamp

Waycross, Georgia is home to the second largest largest live oak tree in the country. Growing on the property of the Baptist Village retirement community, the tree known as the “Village Sentinel” is estimated to be 400 years old, stands 77 feet tall and has a canopy spanning 155 feet. Slated to be felled in the 1950s to make room for power lines, the retirement community spearheaded a successful effort to rescue the tree and hired arborists to ensure its ongoing care, a task Chris Heim of the Davey Tree Company has faithfully continued since he began with the company over thirty years ago. A majestic tree that can be the centerpiece of home and municipal landscapes in well-drained soil under many weather conditions. The live oak is known for its longevity and durability. Providing this popular shade tree with ongoing care will keep it healthy and looking beautiful for generations.

Heim offers these tips for maintaining live oaks to help them thrive in your yard, adding beauty and value to the home landscape.

Pruning

“Dead limbs need to be pruned out for safety reasons and keeping the dead wood out allows for good wound closure, which is important for the health of the tree,” says Heim, but there are other factors when it comes to pruning a live oak.  

“Inspecting the canopy is also important. If it looks like limbs are becoming too heavy at the ends, selectively thin those to lighten the load to prevent limb failure. As trees get older, growth will slow. That’s the nature of the lifecycle of a tree. Proper care will help the tree to continue growing and maintain health and foliage. Taking care of the tree will allow it to sustain itself.”

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