The Live Oak is one of the most popular large native trees found in Florida. It grows very slowly but is also very long lived with some trees in Florida being over 300 years old. These trees prefer sunny, well drained, slightly sandy soil and care has to be taken to plant these trees in areas where they have plenty of space to develop. Once established they provide shade as well as food for wildlife in the fomr of acorns.
The name Live Oak comes from the fact that unlike many deciduous trees the Live Oak does not lose all of its foliage at once. Instead it is continuously losing leaves but the overall appearance of the tree remains green and "live".
Live Oak timber was used for ship building in the 1700 and 1800's and as such was considered to be quite valuable. In 1799 the US government set aside the first publicly owned timber lands to protect this valuable resource. The USS Constituiton also know as "Old Ironsides" was made of Live Oak timber and legend has it that the ships hull could repel cannonballs!
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