Live Oaks and Wind

Oct 3, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The University of Florida Extension Service has a factsheet titled How to Minimize Wind Damage in the South Florida Landscape. We here in South Carolina who observe the trees that grow near the coast know that live oaks -- hundreds of years old -- still stand in places where hurricanes frequently make landfall. And they are the iconic tree for the low country when we visit such places as Brookgreen Garden, Middleton Place and Magnolia Gardens. The live oaks in the low country take a clue from that region’s name – low – they tend to grow large outward limbs rather than a traditional skyward reaching central leader. Their wood is very strong and their configuration allows them to move with the winds rather than present one large trunk that takes the brunt force. They do best when soils allow them to develop a deep supporting root system.