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The Tree


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About 30 minutes to an hour north of Edinburg on U.S. 281, there is an intriguing live oak tree on the West side of the road. I passed by the tree many times, always intending to stop and take some pictures. I finally did so a number of years ago. It isn't the biggest live oak, but it clearly has had a long life. Someone placed lighting under the tree, but I never saw it lit up.

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That is a pretty darn healthy live oak, Gary!

Imagine how long it has taken to reach that size.  Most Texans don't realize that there are two varieties of live oaks found primarily in Texas.  There is Texas live oak (Quercus fusiformas), which is also known as Escarpment Live Oak, and then there is the southern live oak (Quercus virginiana). The Texas live oak is more drought tolerant and cold hardy than the southern live oak but doesn't grow as big. It ranges from southern Oklahoma, through Texas between the Brazos and Pecos rivers and then into the northeastern mountains of Mexico.  The southern live oak is what you typically see along the coast and in southeast Texas. It grows to huge sizes because of the available moisture.  Here in Austin, it can be difficult to know which of the two varieties you have because this is really the transition zone.


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