Laurel Oak
Quercus laurifolia

Laurel Oak

Laurel oak is often found on the edge of wetlands and needs a deep moist soil to look its best. It is often planted on dry berms where it looks stressed.

The straight trunk and smooth mottled bark give this tree a stately look. It grows fast and can reach a height of over 60 feet, yet it is said that they live for only 60 years.

This deep rooted tree does very well in hurricanes unless it has been planted over a hardpan or other root limiting feature. Any large tree planted in the narrow spaces and shallow soil of a parking lot will fall over in high winds.

The acorns are a major food source for a variety of wildlife and the leaves are the larval food for the red banded hairstreak, Horace’s Duskywing and other butterflies.

Oak leaves and acorns are eaten by a variety of insects which are important food sources for the young of nesting birds. The branches often hide the nests of squirrels whose young become food for our hawks. When looking for migratory birds in the spring and fall, just sit under an oak and you will be rewarded shortly. Tiny birds will appear as they move through the branches picking at insects.

Laurel oak can be used as a tall specimen in the front yard or mixed with red maple, cypress, slash pine, live oak, dahoon holly and other wetland species in moist soil conditions. Short term flooding is OK.