The Trouble with Water Oaks

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fallen Water Oak Limb
Originally uploaded by sassycrafter
The big problem with water oaks is that they don't hold up well in storms. Case in point--Tropical Storm Fay just knocked this large limb out of a water oak in my yard.

Even more exciting was the giant water oak that cracked open in my neighbor's backyard, snapping the power pole as it went down. Needless to say, the other side of the street doesn't have power right now.

Indeed, the experts at UF/IFAS agree that water oaks have their drawbacks: "The tree often begins to break apart just as it grows to a desirable size."

These trees, known botanically as Quercus nigra, are fairly common here in North Florida. They're fine in natural areas, but they aren't as suited for neighborhood settings because they pose a hazard during serious storms.

I'm pretty sure that the one in my yard was a volunteer since it's growing straight out of an azalea bush along my property line. I've thought of cutting it down but just hadn't wanted to spend the money. We'll see. Maybe I'll have a certified arborist come give me an opinion about removing the tree.

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