Oaks: Chinese Evergreen Oak

Discussion in 'Fagaceae (beeches, oaks, etc.)' started by Elmore, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. Elmore

    Elmore Active Member 10 Years

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    Chinese Evergreen Oak - Quercus myrsinifolia do well, here in the Tennessee Valley, zone 7. They can get as large as 40 feet or so but most of the few that I have seen are about 20' to 25'. It is truly evergreen and a relatively rare tree around these parts. In Michael A. Dirr's book, "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants", there is mention of sapsuckers wreaking havoc on this species in some areas and the fact that this could be a limiting factor in the use of this tree. The mature trees that I have found locally show no sign of sapsucker damage. Perhaps the TN Valley is inhabited with more refined, well mannered sapsuckers or could be their peckers don't work. Aside from sapsuckers and a brief mention of canker in Dirr's text, this species appears pest and disease free. I am growing a small number of them in containers. Locally, in the Tennessee Valley, I have only seen 3 mature specimens. One in Cullman, AL that is about 20' x 20'. A beauty. Another in Athens, AL that looks a lot like the Cullman tree and a huge specimen in Huntsville, AL that has got to be about 35 - 40 feet tall and 30-35 feet wide.
    Other evergreen oaks, if you can find them, are the Japanese Evergreen Oak, the Blue Japanese Oak, the Ubame Oak and Quercus salicina. All might be difficult to obtain but mysinifolia can be found in the Southeast.
    Attached are photos of the one tree that I know of in Cullman, AL.. Photos made 6-23-04. The story that I was told by a local nurseryman is that the lady who lives there bought it down along the gulf coast, South Alabama, as a Live Oak. I have also heard from a gentleman in Huntsville, AL, that many years ago a traveling tree salesman was selling these trees in that area.
     

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  2. Elmore

    Elmore Active Member 10 Years

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    Big Chinese Evergreen Oak

    Here is the large Quercus myrsinifolia that I mentioned in the prior post. It is located in Huntsville, AL. Photos made this afternoon, 7-16-04.
     

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  3. Elmore

    Elmore Active Member 10 Years

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    Another Chinese Evergreen Oak in the Tennessee Valley

    Here are a couple of pictures of a third Chinese Evergreen Oak located in Athens, AL. This tree was a more attractive before the residents at the location raised the crown. Now it's out of proportion but they can sit in the shade under this rare beauty. In the last picture it looks like Paul Buikema just pulled up to check it out. Hey Paul, nice truck.
     

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  4. Chinese Evergreen Oak Data

    Thank You! This is the only site I've found that displays pictures of mature Chinese Evergree Oak.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Bambooleaf Oak might be a better common name for this. A fairly substantial one can be seen in the NE corner of the Lam Asian Garden at UBC, near the plant sales area. Another, in Redmond, WA was 44' x 3'4" x 31' in 1988.
     
  6. Quercus Myrsinifolia/Chinese Evergreen Oak

    There are several large trees on the campus of NCState University. I have raised over 30 seedlings, have found that are quite easy to sprout from seed.
     
  7. AM Downie

    AM Downie Member

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    Evergreen oaks in Vancouver B.C.

    Just as a note of interest, I have been experimenting with evergreen oaks in my garden in North Vancouver BC for several years:

    Q. acuta - planted in 1992 as a seedling and now about 12' tall, not as fast as Q. myrsinifolia but also completely unharmed by -14 C.

    Q. glauca - planted as 1 gallon 12' tall plant in 1991. Now about 15' tall. Minor bark split in 1993 during -14 C cold snap. Fully recovered the following year, and growth unaffected. Very snow resistant, which is remarkable as the stiff branchlets are quite brittle.

    Q. hypoleucoides - planted 1993 as a seedling, now about 15' tall, and speeding up! Lovely silvery-backed hard leathery leaves, new growth red. Native to NW Mexico into S. Texas. Completely hardy so far. There is a large tree of this in the Hiram Chittenden Lock Garden in Seattle.

    Q. myrsinifolia - planted as 4" pot seedling in 1993, now about 20' tall and completely hardy.

    Q. phillyraeoides - planted 1994 as a seedling. Now about 12' tall; shrubby. Never winter damaged. This would make an excellent hedge plant!

    Q. virgininiana - planted 1991 as a potbound 5 foot containerized tree (found neglected and near dead at a local nursery). Now about 18' tall and with a wider spread. Semi-evergreeen in colder winters. Severe bark split in -14 C cold snap in 1993 (about 50% of trunk affected), but has almost recovered since then.

    Lithocarpus henryi - planted 1998 as a seedling. This oak relative has lovely long narrow leaves and is now about 6 ft high. I think there are several young trees of this species in the David Lam garden at UBC.

    I think evergreen oaks have great potential for the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest. The main hazard here is not winter cold, but heavy wet snow which can break branches.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Evergreen Fagaceae are also prone to Armillaria and Phytophthora ramorum on the Pacific Slope.
     
  9. jacquot

    jacquot Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    My father-in-law has what he calls a Holly Oak in his yard in Toulouse, France. It has holly-like evergreen leaves. There are actually two there, and he may have grown them from seed, as many of his trees were seed propogated. I have no idea if they are indigenous to the south of France. He collected many seeds at the local botanic garden.
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Quercus ilex .
     
  11. myrsinifolia in Portland, Oregon

    The Friends of Trees in Portland, Oregon have included this tree on their street tree list. I have planted them on N. Mississippi Ave. From reviewing pictures here, it is evident that tree really spreads out which is not a good thing when urban buildings are only eight feet away and are two to three stories high.
    Brian
     
  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd agree with your assessment, Brian.
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Those I have seen, including the one at the north end of the Lam Asian Garden, were not so pyramidal as in the above photos. The one in Redmond was 31' wide when 44' high.
     
  14. MdeWeese

    MdeWeese Member

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    Re: Evergreen oaks in Vancouver B.C.

    I purchased an evergreen oak but I would like to know which one it is as the nursery did not know. I have taken several pictures of it which I could send for identification.
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Note that above specimens all planted post-1990. The last killer winter down here was that year. Trees should not be declared hardy until they have held up for decades.
     
  16. Brent A. Hine

    Brent A. Hine Active Member 10 Years

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    In the EH Lohbrunner Alpine Garden at the botanical garden at UBC there is a specimen of Quercus chrysolepis, (Canyon Oak), native to central California, south into Mexico. It was planted in the early 1970s and this year it produced its first acorn crop. It is approximately 4 x 5 metres. Leaves are small, tough and mostly entire, with occasional serration. It hasn't suffered any winter damage since being observed from 1994.
     
  17. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Sounds like a huckleberry oak. Think I remember the specimen, in fact. Huckleberry oak wild range includes high up in the Sierra Nevada, unlike canyon live oak.

    On a side note anyone familiar with the tree will be saddened to learn that the big (for here) canyon live oak in the Carl English Botanical Garden (at the Chittenden locks, Seattle) split apart awhile back and was eventually removed. In 1987 it measured 51' x 8'0". Two others, if still present can be seen closer to Vancouver, at 1749 State Hwy 9, Big Lake (near Mount Vernon). These were 47' x 9'7" and 46' x 9'2" in 1990.

    A huckleberry oak in the English B.G. had reached 27' x 3'8" by 1995.
     
  18. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    That is sad to hear about that Canyon Live Oak at the Locks. I remember it was a beautiful tree with a lot of character. I have been very impressed with my Silverleaf Oak, Quercus hypoleucoides. It was planted around 1990 and we live in a colder area and I know it lived through -12 degrees F with no problem one year. My garden is not ideal for hardening off plants in the Fall for bad cold spells and a lot of other common plants didn't fare so well. My Snow Eucalyptus froze to the ground, the Southern Magnolias died, and too may more to list. It has grown slowly to about 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide. I would say the new growth is almost a salmon pink color in color and very attractive. It makes a good evergreen screen. I did have some Sapsucker damage one year, I hadn't realized they were prone to that. I wonder why? I also get heavy,wet snows and only once did a lower branch split horizontally but it was an important branch so I left it and it is healing. My soil is only moderately drained and I do have problems with root rot diseases in my soil but it hasn't been affected by them yet. It is a tree I think should be grown more, except with SOD working it's way up the West Coast I would be worried about planting any oak in an important position now. I hope it isn't too susceptible to it.
     
  19. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Surviving -12F is noteworthy. 1990 was the coldest winter in Seattle area in 30 years. You are saying you've had -12F since then? What part of western WA did that happen in? A silverleaf oak was 42' tall in the English Botanical Garden (Locks) in 1992. The soil there is heavy and claylike.
     
  20. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    Sorry, I remembered wrong. I checked with my husband and he said it was -4 degrees F. I can remember plant names and their growing conditions easily but not numbers so maybe they use a different part of the brain. I wish I could remember the exact year but we bought our house in 1989 so it could have been 1990. He also said we had a bad year later where it got down to 0 degrees F. I remembered I had just planted a lot of trees and shrubs as the fountain for the garden so it was terrible timing. We live about 20 miles east of Puget Sound. We live in a valley at 350 feet but we are surrounded by hills that are 600 feet tall. We get more snow than most areas around here. I didn't know it would be so much colder in this area when we bought this land but I did get a lot of level ground with good soil with is what I wanted. I just am very leery of pushing the hardiness envelope too much because I have seen the effects of too many Arctic Blasts over the years. I would call our soil heavy clay loam too.
     
  21. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Soil and air drainage affects hardiness, if you have heavy soil in a frost pocket you will have poor results with plants adapted to upland areas with good drainage. Southern magnolia should be hardy only 20 miles from the Sound, your site (or perhaps timing of planting) may have given an unusual result. I have even seen this species in Yakima, where the tree was said to have been planted decades beforehand. One eastern selection is named '24 below', after a temperature it survived without apparent damage.
     
  22. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    That is it exactly, I live in a frost pocket with heavy soil. And don't forget the heavy snowfall that broke the next Southern Magnolia I planted two years in a row. I can't give you the exact year. It came up from the roots the first year but didn't the second year. Maybe I didn't have a good variety too. I like plants that are able to resprout from the roots like Eucalyptus. I'm really not complaining too much because I can grow a lot of plants really well. It's just been a process of learning my site and I am happy with it, but there are some things I know are a gamble. Back to the Silverleaf Oak, that is why I am so impressed with it.
     
  23. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Bushier forms like 'St. Mary' and 'Victoria' (but not 'Little Gem', which is actually narrow-growing) less prone to breakage.
     
  24. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you for the information. If I decide to try growing one again I will look into those varieties.
     
  25. daytime

    daytime Member

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    where is it in redmond?
     

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