Southern Pride Tree Farm

Live Oak Tree FAQs

Click a question below to view the answer.

  • Why do I want live oak trees for my landscape?

    The live oak is an amazingly durable tree against weather and highly resistant to pests and disease. The Quercus virginiana or Southern Live Oak can measure its lifetime in centuries if properly located and cared for in the landscape.

    Live oaks grow to be large, sprawling, picturesque trees, usually graced with Spanish Moss and strongly reminiscent of the Old South. Also, live oak is one of the broadest spreading of the oaks reaching 40 to 60 feet in height with a 60 to 100 foot spread and usually possessing many sinuously curved trunks and branches. Live oak trees are an impressive sight for any large-scale landscape; Give it plenty of room since the trunk can grow to more than six feet in diameter.

  • How are your live oak trees grown?

    Our live oaks grown in-ground, or the technical term "field grown", from about 2-3 feet tall until we sell them to our customers.

  • What does B&B mean, why should I prefer field grown live oak trees?

    B&B or balled and burlap is an old term used when live oak trees were procured directly from nature. Now the term field-grown is used for trees grown in its native soil in a tree nursery environment. Field grown trees are grown in the ground to a harvestable size, root pruned annually, properly watered and fertilized, dug or harvested prior to sale, roots are hardened off and the tree is transported to the job site. Although field-grown live oak trees are no longer referred to as balled and burlapped (B&B), live oak trees from a tree nursery are placed in wire baskets, lined with burlap to support the root system.

  • Are your live oak tree roots cured?

    Our field-grown live oak trees are hardened-off or cured after harvesting. Curing roots or hardening-off roots is a process which lasts six to eight weeks. It simply involves providing the live oak with optimum irrigation during the immediate weeks after harvesting. This step, as simple as it may seem, is crucial to the health and survivability of the Live Oak tree when it’s moved to its new home.

    Once the live oak tree is hardened-off it is ready to ship (see our Shipping Process page) to the landscape site. Seeing new roots on your tree’s rootball means the tree has begun to develop, and has the best advantage to take off and establish immediately into the landscape. These new roots growing outside of the burlap are a sign of quality. Our Quality Root System Guarantee reminds you of the care taken to assure the survival of our Live Oak trees in your landscape. Look for roots outside of the burlap, our QRS Guarantee assures that you are planting a quality hardened-off live oak tree.

  • In what zone will live oak trees grow?

    We really get this question a lot. live oaks (Quercus virginiana's) are sometimes called the Southern Oak on purpose. They like warm southern air but can tolerate cold weather and even a little snow, but if you live in an area where frost forms in the ground live oaks don’t like their "feet" cold. Here's a list of compatible zones using the American Horticulture Society USDA Hardiness Zone Map:

    • USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2° C (10° F)
    • USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4° C (15° F)
    • USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6° C (20° F)
    • USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8° C (25° F)
    • USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1°C (30° F)
    • USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7° C (35° F)
    • USDA Zone 11: above 4.5° C (40° F)
    where live oak trees grow

    Where live oak trees will grow:

    Southern Pride Tree Farm is located in north Florida and ships trees to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.


  • What does caliper mean?

    Caliper is a nursery standard measurement for the diameter of the trunk.

  • How do you price live oak trees?

    Live oak trees are sold by the caliper inch or the diameter of the trunk. Grades and Standards requires the measurement to be taken 12 inches from grade or the top of the rootball.

  • What does your Quality Roots System (QRS) Guarantee mean?

    Southern Pride Tree Farm guarantees our customers are buying the best quality hardened-off live oak tree available. All of our live oak trees are held until new roots develop from the top of the root ball to the bottom and all the way around. Then and only then are the live oak trees showing us they’re happy, healthy and ready to be moved to their new home. We are committed to increasing the awareness of the importance of a deep, healthy root system especially for live oak trees.

    View Our Quality Roots System Guarantee

  • What are the live oak tree grades & standards for Florida trees?

    Grades and Standards were developed by The University of Florida and The Florida Department of Agriculture to provide city and county landscapers with a preferred tree structure and a method of grading the quality difference in trees grown and placed in Florida Landscapes. Grades and Standards also apply to quality trees across the United States. Learn the difference in a Florida Fancy, Florida #1, and others. Click here to download and view the University of Florida’s Tree Grades and Standards PDF document.

  • Where can I find more information about live oak trees?

    The organization Roots Plus Growers developed a very good tool called the Tree Planting Cue Card < you can view and download it here. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    Download the University of Florida’s Selecting Quality Trees from the Nursery PDF

  • When is the best time to plant live oak trees?

    Anytime, We dig the inventory we will sell for the year in December to late January and harden off (allow new roots to be visible from the top of the rootball to the bottom and all the way around) and go through any shock from being dug in the nursery - the live oak trees are healthy and happy before we ship and will establish nicely any time of year. However in more northern regions of the east coast such as northern coastal North Carolina and coastal Virginia, we recommend the earlier in spring and summer the better so the live oak tree’s roots established before dealing with the cold. Click here to see how we prepare live oak trees for shipping.

Southern Pride Tree Farm sells very big live oaks:

Featured videos

Dig & Prep Live Oak Tree

Digging & Preparation

Mature live oak tree digging and preparation in the Nursery for transport to the customer.

Live Oak Tree Packing for Transport

Tree Packing

Here we are demonstrating packaging mature live oak trees in the Nursery for transport.

Loading Live Oak Trees for Transport

Loading for Transport

Watch how a large mature tree is wrapped and loaded onto a truck for transport.