“These trees which he plants, and under whose shade he shall never sit, he loves them for themselves, and for the sake of his children and his children’s children, who are to sit beneath the shadow of their spreading boughs.” – Hyacinthe Loyson
Live Oaks are some of the most beautiful and iconic trees around, but there are a few things you should consider when planting them.
When is the best time of the year to plant my Live Oak in Texas?
There are two times that we recommend planting trees. Early spring when the weather starts to warm up and early fall after the heat of the summer has finished burning us all up. In our region, fall is actually best because the trees use most of that time before spring to put out new root growth as opposed to using their energy during spring to put out new leaves. Roots can move and be active as long as the soil temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the case for us most of the time.
Where is the best place to plant my Live Oak tree?
Live Oaks do best in full sun and can also grow to one day have a canopy spread of over 100 feet. Make sure it’s a good distance from your home or any structure you have or may one day have in your yard. I’d recommend about 15 feet from any structure and keep in mind any nearby power lines.
How will this Live Oak tree change the appearance of my home?
As mentioned before, Live Oaks will grow to be large, majestic beauties. Try not to obscure any exterior views of the home or any views from inside the home.
How do I put this Live Oak tree in the ground?
After you’ve decided where you want your tree to go, the next thing to do is dig the hole. Please dial 811 or visit www.call811.com to make a dig request before digging in your yard. The last thing you want to do is cut your internet access or worse when trying to plant your tree. Once all utilities are marked and the spot for your tree has been determined, you are going to want to dig a hole that is at least double the size of the root ball of your tree but no deeper than the depth of the current root ball. Being a little shallow is preferred over being too deep. Planting too deep is a common malpractice and easily avoidable. Once you have your hole, place the tree in the middle of it and back fill it with the native soil that you dug up. Soak the root ball with water as well as the surrounding soil. My secret tip to stabilize the tree without having to worry about tree stakes and not forgetting to remove the tree ties is to take 1-2 wood broom handles, cut them in half and then drive them diagonally through the root ball. Doing this stakes the entire root ball into the ground and keeps the tree from falling over.
How do I keep a newly planted Live Oak tree alive in Texas?
Once you have your tree installed, water the root ball and surrounding soil every 7-10 days. Continue to do this for about 2-3 months. After that, cut the waterings down to twice a month for another 2-3 months before going to monthly waterings for the rest of the first year the tree is in the ground. After the first year, the tree will only need to be watered during exceptionally dry times throughout the year. When considering fertilizer, I would err on the side of caution. If you decide to use fertilizer, do it early in the spring and don’t use a lot. You don’t want to burn your new roots up with fertilizer.
Contact us if you have any questions
Thanks for visiting our blog. If you still have questions or would like more information on caring for your trees, check out our other blog posts or tree care videos. And as always, estimates are free and you can schedule one by clocking here. The Urban Foresters have multiple ISA Certified Arborists on staff who are looking forward to serving you.
By Wes Schoppe
ISA Certified Arborist