How to Buy a Live Oak Tree


According to Louisiana State University, live oaks are the most popular tree grown in Louisiana. The tree grows throughout the south and is hardy from USDA climate zones 7 through 10. Live oaks will not survive the harsh winters of cooler climates. The tree is evergreen, and may grow up to 50 feet tall with a branch spread of 80 feet wide. Live oak trees produce simple oval leaves that are leathery in texture and alternate on the branches of a live oak tree. Like most oak varieties, live oaks reproduce through acorns.

Step 1

Wait until fall to purchase your live oak tree. The best time to plant live oaks is November through January, when the tree is dormant.

Step 2

Call ahead to area garden centers to determine if they carry live oaks. Local nurseries in your area will carry live oaks if you live within USDA hardiness zones 7 through 10. Large chain commercial garden stores may carry live oaks at specific times of the year, but these trees are typically shipped into the store, so your selection may be limited.

Step 3

Examine live oak specimens before purchasing them. Select a tree with a well-developed central leader system. Make sure that the tree was properly pruned at the nursery before purchasing the tree. Improper pruning of a tree when it is young can lead to problems with the tree that are hard to correct when it matures.

Step 4

Select a tree that has been grown in a 3-to-15-gallon container. Larger trees may be available, but these trees are often difficult for a homeowner to manage.


  • LSU AG Center: Live Oak Care Important, Fall Through Winter
  • NC State Univeristy: Quercus virginiana

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M University: Native Trees of Texas
Keywords: live oaks, nursery tree, raising trees

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."