‘Southern Shade’ is Cherrylake’s trademarked name for our seedling Live Oaks. These are Quercus virginiana, or “Virginia Live Oak” grown from acorns. Originally and for many years, ‘Southern Shade’ trees grown at Cherrylake were all propagated from acorns found under the same mother tree on the west shore of Lake David in Groveland, Florida. Today, we also use other sources for acorns for ‘Southern Shade’.
‘Southern Shade’ is the classic ‘medium-sized’ evergreen tree, usually with a short, broad trunk buttressed at the base forking into nearly horizontal, long branches, and a very broad, spreading, dense crown. We grow our ‘Southern Shade’ to conform to Florida Grades and Standards, which results in a wonderful and sturdy tree that has many uses in the landscape, such as the ultimate shade tree in the coastal Southeastern United States.
Distinct characteristics of Live Oaks are: Spanish moss draping from bows and branches; Resurrection fern, which blooms and covers trunks and large limbs like fur in rainy seasons; and when left in natural settings, Live Oak branches may swoop down to the ground; and the Live Oak wood is still prized for its strength and durability by ship builders.
Southeastern coastal United States
Live oak, Virginia oak, southern live oak, sand live oak, scrub live oak, Texas live oak, seedling
Hardy Range: 7B to 10B
Mature Height: 50’ to 75’
Mature Spread: 60’ to 100’
Growth Rate: average
Form: rounded and spreading
A mature Live Oak will develop a rounded crown and are noted for their wide, shady canopies. Foliage is made up of small, glossy, green leaves with grey-green undersides. The tree will maintain these leaves all year long. Flowers are inconspicuous, and the dark brown acorns are attractive to wildlife.
Soil: clay, sand, loam; alkaline, acidic; well-drained; occasionally wet
Exposure: partial sun to full sun