Live oaks are designated as the official tree of the City of Virginia Beach, and with good reason.
Native to the area, live oaks were here long before European settlers. The tree is one of the most distinctive and recognizable plants in the city and immediately brings to mind our coastal areas and maritime ecosystem. They resist salt spray and storm surges, having survived Hurricane Katrina in areas where everything else was reduced to rubble. They control flooding and storm water runoff, and shelter and nourish local wildlife. They are amazingly drought-tolerant and disease-resistant.
Live oaks boast many assets for homeowners. They increase property value and quality of life. They provide incredible shade, reducing air conditioning costs. An evergreen, their dense foliage provides privacy and beautifies the garden all year round.
Would you like to plant a live oak tree?
This October the Friends of Live Oaks, together with the Virginia Beach Environment and Sustainability Office, will give away young live oak trees to Virginia Beach residents to plant in Virginia Beach. 2014 will be the fourth annual live oak distribution. As in the past, there will be no charge for the trees. Recipients are, however, encouraged to become official Friends of Live Oaks members by purchasing a $10 membership.
Did you know?
The average life span for new trees planted in an urban setting is 13 years. Live oaks, however, can live for 1,400 years.
The live oak was a popular food source among Native American tribes.
Source: Friends of Live Oaks