Live Oak Wood

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Quercus virginiana. Coastal plain of the U.S. south from Virginia to southern Florida. Georgia state tree.
It is really a bitch to work...shipworkers used to try to find crotches and limbs already shaped close to what they neede, because old tools had a hard time with the distorted grain. New tools can also run into severe problems.
Charlie Self
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Very common tree here in Texas. AAMOF, the Spanish name for oak, encina, graces a town or two with names like 'Encinal', which loosely translated to a grove of live oaks from whence the towns sprung. Many of the old land deed records, especially the large Spanish grants, still have boundary descriptions of "so many varas to a live oak for a corner, then NW so many varas to another live oak for a corner ..."
I've seen some old live oaks whose branches easily cover an area 150'+ in diameter. IIRC, there was also a species that was native to Baja California when I visited there many years ago.
You need to write a book, Charlie. ;>)
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Swingman notes:

I'm working on it. The live oak is a lovely tree in a squatty sort of way...and down in the S. Carolina and Georgia areas, it is usually heavily draped with Spanish moss, making it even more gothic looking. The tend not to be much mroe than 50' tall, and while 150' is probably unusual, I'd guess half that isn't, maybe even 2/3.
Tankoak is sometimes called live oak, too...Lithocarpus densiflorus. Way west for this one, usually along the Pacific coastal ranges starting in Oregon, to Socal.
Massive tree, to 80 feet, though the big ones are now hard to find. Not as hard, nor as durable, as true live oak, but QS ray flecks are nice and it's a pretty wood (I think). Much easier to work than real live oak, too.
Charlie Self
"In the final choice a soldier's pack is not so heavy as a prisoner's chains." Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Charlie Self wrote:

They generally look to me like they would be hard to mill. I don't think I've ever seen one that wasn't crooked and low-branched. Sort of like an incredibly enormous bonsai. I've run across some huge ones, and I'd say some up to 150' across. Better than 100' easily in any case. Have an acorn from one right here in my pocket, actually.
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Charlie Self wrote:

For anyone who's interested, here's a picture of a live oak that's famous in the Charleston, South Carolina area. I climbed this on this tree over 30 years ago.
Picture: http://www.arboresque.com/Angel_Oak.htm
Story: http://www.bestreadguide.com/charleston/stories/19990114/att_angeloak.shtml
ARM ;-)
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brought forth from the murky depths:

That's a teensy bit larger than those I climbed in LoCal as a young teen. Ours were only 20-40' tall/wide.
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Did a web search... looks like a gorgeous shade tree.
Acorns, but the leaves are nothing like any oak I've seen, and it's an evergreen!
Thanks to the OP and everyone else for the opportunity to learn something.
djb
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It does lose its leaves, in the spring, but the new leaves replace the old so fast that it is never actually bare.
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wrote:

My grandmother and her neighbors have several down their road. In fact, the road splits twice to go around two huge live oaks. The lady across the street from my grandma has two live oaks in her yard that a guy-who-knows-a-buttload-about-trees (what's that guy called, anyway?) looked at and were aged at over 400 years. They both have trunks of about 6 feet in diameter and a dripline of easily 150'. Pretty humbling, if you ask me. These trees were granddaddies before our nation was born. Dang.
-Phil Crow
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Phil Crow writes:

Kinda gets to you. Some of the sequoias were there before Christ was born, too (life expectancy of 2000 to 3000 years). Not too long ago, some live oaks were estimated to be 800+ years old. That was recently revised downward, but the experts still say there are a number over 300 years of age.
Charlie Self
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On 14 Dec 2003 05:43:19 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Phil Crow) brought forth from the murky depths:

Anal Arborist, maybe?

That's the kind of tree that makes you all weak-in-the-knees like.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Yeah it is, and one of the things that makes being a woodworker hard for me. Somewhere there's a logger going "hot damn, look at all the board feed in *that* thing!"
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snipped-for-privacy@NOSOCKS.balderstone.ca wrote:

Not only is it evergreen, but it's deciduous too. It loses leaves, and grows new ones, continuously.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Well, so do pine trees for that matter. Just look in Mom's swimming pool. 373 cubic miles of pine needles fall into the thing every twelve seconds this time of year.
(I wonder where my son gets his propensity for exaggeration?)
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Silvan wrote:

I know a prof who says he "embroiders the mundane cloth of veracity with the golden thread of fabrication." Sounds better that way. <g>
-- Mark
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Mark Jerde wrote:

Hrm... Me likey. I'll have to remember that.
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Doug Miller wrote:

No it isn't. It is either deciduous or evergreen. Deciduous in reference to trees essentially means that all the leaves fall off if a particular season, it doesn't just mean the leaves fall off while others continue to grow which they do do on pines.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in

You are mistaken here - shipwrights would try to find crotches, etc, shaped close to what they needed because the grain would follow the curve they were trying to form, thus resulting in a much stronger piece.
The rest of what you wrote is about right, tho. Very hard to work, prone to radically changing shape while drying, and not very pretty to look at.
Best use for one would be to sell it to someone who cuts lumber for wooden boat builders. There's still a need for natural knees and crooks in that field.
John
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Yes, we were supposed to go on a crotch hunting expedition for deck beam supports before the funding dried up. See http://scmaritime.org/ a little out of date, but our new webmaster's working on it. We're working on several other sources for funding, so we may be going on a road trip sometime after the first of the year. Joe
John McCoy wrote:

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I scored my latest one about 20 years ago, but still look for another now and then.
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