Author Topic: Southern live oak  (Read 3620 times)

Lynn E

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Southern live oak
« on: November 11, 2014, 06:26 AM »
Any suggestions for winter care? I'm in NJ; zone 7a. Tree is an older, collected oak from Florida. In a 12" oval pot, bonsai soil.
About 12" tall. Likely some unknown hybrid of Quercus virgiana, in good health.
Thanks so much for any help,
Lynn
 

bwaynef

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2014, 02:12 PM »
I have very few trees that I have to be concerned with for winter care (although, what they're saying about this winter...), but I also live in a milder climate than you.  I'll take a first stab at this, all the while deferring to anyone with better ideas.

If you have a sheltered area near the house, I'd probably start there.  You can dig down, add some gravel for drainage, and bury with leaves/needles covering the bulk of the tree(s).  If you can't/won't dig down, provide a wind-block and pack the trees with leaves and the white stuff.

Oh, connected garages work nicely as well.
 

Sorce

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2014, 04:44 AM »
Hey Lynn. Welcome.

Where was this tree last year?

If it came right from Florida you might have to keep it from freezing at all. Maybe an attic? That connected garage would be nice too.

Can you find out how/where it was wintered last year?

Sounds too nice to lose!

Sorce
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2014, 09:37 AM »
I agree with Sorce. Provenance means everything here. A tree of the same species will not grow the same in Va., as it did in Florida. I would not let the pot freeze.
 

Lynn E

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2014, 07:23 AM »
Thanks Guys,
 You provided the answers I needed. Plan is my unheated, enclosed porch which has light but no direct sun. Temps are pretty consistent--50-55 degrees.
 This tree did live in Florida all of its life.
Thanks again, Lynn
 

bwaynef

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 09:09 AM »
Sustained temps of 50-55 seems much too warm to over-winter this tree.

Flint (1997)noted that while the species’ useful range as a landscape plant is uSDA Zone 8b (average annual minimum temperature 15 to 20°f [-9.4 to -6.7°C]), it can tolerate colder extremes like Zone 7b (average annual minimum temperature 5 to 10°f [-15 to -12.2°C]) but is unlikely to attain its full size and landscape value because of ice and snow damage.
 

Lynn E

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2014, 08:36 AM »
bwaynef--I appreciate the research-- Lynn
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 02:25 PM »
Sustained temps of 50-55 seems much too warm to over-winter this tree.

Flint (1997)noted that while the species’ useful range as a landscape plant is uSDA Zone 8b (average annual minimum temperature 15 to 20°f [-9.4 to -6.7°C]), it can tolerate colder extremes like Zone 7b (average annual minimum temperature 5 to 10°f [-15 to -12.2°C]) but is unlikely to attain its full size and landscape value because of ice and snow damage.


keep in mind that this info is for landscape trees, not bonsai.

Southern Live Oak bonsai can tolerate freezing but I would not keep them frozen for extended periods of time.  Freezing tends to draw out moisture and cause drying.  My experience is they do not like to be dry.  I let mine freeze during the beginning of Winter to help induce sleep, then move them into my greenhouse where they are maintained right at freezing temps.  The soil does not stay frozen.

I would suggest keeping your tree in an unheated attached garage with little or no sunlight.  I would not keep it outdoors.  Your unheated porch is probably fine if you make sure it goes dormant before moving it in there.  Be sure to keep the soil moist.  It will be dormant but will need to be watered.
 

Lynn E

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2014, 03:31 PM »
Don,
Thanks so much. No garage so its dormancy and then the porch.
Should I expect it to drop its leaves at some point?
Lynn
 

BonsaiEngineer1493

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2014, 04:05 PM »
Hey Lynn, did you get the tree from jay?
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2014, 04:44 PM »
Don,
Thanks so much. No garage so its dormancy and then the porch.
Should I expect it to drop its leaves at some point?
Lynn

With mine, the leaves will turn a grayish green color mid winter and some will drop.  Most will drop in the Spring when new growth emerges.  Sometimes I cut them off during Fall/Winter work, otherwise I wait until Spring and pluck the ones that don't fall off on their own when sprayed with the watering hose.
 

Lynn E

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Re: Southern live oak
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2014, 05:19 PM »
Hey Lynn, did you get the tree from jay?

Tree came from the nice folks at Wigerts in Florida. It has lots of deadwood for a carving project.