Brazos Bend State Park
Volunteer Organization   
Gator Hatch

Twelve Trees of Brazos Bend State Park


Quercus virginiana

EVERGREEN: Grows to 60 feet with a 40-60 foot spread. Leaves on live oaks fall in mid winter; but are immediately replaced. It is never bare so it is considered evergreen.

LEAVES: Simple, alternate dark green shiny above paler and somewhat hairy below. Variable in shape, mostly oval, rounded at top, 2-5” long and 1/2-2 1/2” wide. Leaves feel stiff.

BARK: Dark brown to black, furrows narrow and interlaced.

FLOWERS: Male flowers are borne on catkins , whereas female flowers are borne on spikes. Appear on same tree in Mar.-May.

FRUIT: Acorns are brownish black and shiny, 1/3-1/2 inch long, enclosed about 1/3 of their length in the cup. Occur in clusters of 3-5. Acorns mature in one season.

This tree is usually found in sandy loam soil but may occur in heavier clays. Found in mixed hardwood forests.

The largest live oak growing in Texas has recently been found in Fort Bend County. These trees are famous in the south because of their long horizontal branches which reach out and cover so much ground. They grow wider than they are all. It is a beautiful ornamental tree but requires a lot of room.

The bark was used to produce tannin, a product used in the curing of animal hides into leather. Oil from the acorns was used by Indians in cooking. Wood from these trees is hard and strong, so is used in shipbuilding and for hubs and cogs.

Three beautiful live oaks are growing just outside the front door of the Nature Center. Ask about their age.

Updated: Aug 12, 2011