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Topic Title: Live Oak root suckers.....oh no!
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Created On: 06/03/2006 04:03 PM
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 06/03/2006 04:03 PM
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lotsapets

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Joined: 05/12/2005

I have a grove of beautiful live oaks on my property, but they have zillions of root suckers in the ground that are like a thick mesh of piano wire. I can barely dig through them with a sharp shovel. If left alone they send up so many baby oaks that they look like thick ground cover. I just removed the 6" black plastic edging/border strips that surround these trees in the hope that the grass will grow in and take over. Or will the live oak suckers move out into the lawn and take over it? Which will win, the live oak suckers or the runner-type Florida grass? Is there anyway to control live oak root suckers? I have never seen any thing so thick and strong associated with a plant.
 06/03/2006 06:16 PM
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Sparky

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Are sure your talkin about a live oak?
 06/04/2006 06:27 AM
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lotsapets

Posts: 50
Joined: 05/12/2005

Yup, Live Oak. Isn't that what they are called. The beautiful oaks with the big limbs that often twist down toward the ground. They keep their green leaves in the winter as compared to northern oaks that lose their leaves and go dormant in the cold months...hence the name Live Oak. I have a grove of them and their root suckers are so thick as to be almost inpenetrable.
 06/04/2006 12:37 PM
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Sparky

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Big limbs yes not exactly how they got there name though.Most oaks keep there leaves all "winter" in florida.The live oak pushes out the old leaves with new ones hence the name.Scrub oaks swamp oaks put out tons of suckers but I have not seen that to be a problem with live oaks though.However no expert here on oaks.
 06/04/2006 12:59 PM
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Wavewatcher

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Joined: 07/24/2003

Some live oaks put up lots of suckers. Some don't. We actually have two species.
is the usual yard tree. Fla. plant atlas

Sand live oak has leaves that are more curled at the edges and fuzzier underneath.

.

It's usually a scrubby tree, forming thickets and adapted to periodically being burned to the ground.

Both species can make suckers. And of course both have lots & lots of small, shallow roots forming a sort of sponge under the tree. In my yard, St Augustine grass does pretty well under laurel oaks, but hardly anything else does, except border grass (Liriope) or shade-loving bromeliads.
 06/04/2006 07:26 PM
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lotsapets

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Joined: 05/12/2005

Sparky: Thanks for the info. Forget the root suckers, now I am more interested in figuring out if I have swamp oaks, scrub oaks, or live oaks. I have the big ones with limbs that twist down toward the ground in the back yard, without all the root suckers----probably live oaks, right? But to tell the truth, the oak grove in the front has skinnier trees without the low twisting limbs. It is the one that has all the root suckers. Very interesting. I bet you are right, that grove is probably the scrub oak or swamp oak that you mention. Thanks!. Now tell me what to do about the root suckers that are like a matted mesh of wire.
 06/04/2006 07:38 PM
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lotsapets

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Joined: 05/12/2005

Thanks Wavewatcher: I have the live oak in the top picture in my back yard, minus the property that looks like an estate, but I am going to have to do some detective work to figure out what kind of oak I have in the front yard that is sending out all the suckers.
 06/04/2006 07:44 PM
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Sparky

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Joined: 02/09/2005

Quote

Originally posted by: lotsapets
Sparky: Thanks for the info. Forget the root suckers, now I am more interested in figuring out if I have swamp oaks, scrub oaks, or live oaks. I have the big ones with limbs that twist down toward the ground in the back yard, without all the root suckers----probably live oaks, right? But to tell the truth, the oak grove in the front has skinnier trees without the low twisting limbs. It is the one that has all the root suckers. Very interesting. I bet you are right, that grove is probably the scrub oak or swamp oak that you mention. Thanks!. Now tell me what to do about the root suckers that are like a matted mesh of wire.




I don't think there is much you can do.I had several of these oaks as well with the suckers you described.But hurricane frances got rid of those trees for me.Pissed me off too I had them looking like banzai trees.(only bigger).They are pretty weak wooded as well.Good luck.
 06/04/2006 07:59 PM
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paddleout

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Take a pic or scan of the leaves on the oak that suckers.

We can probably figure out its ID

-------------------------
Florida Plant Nursery
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Plant Nursery
Brevard Florida
 06/05/2006 03:05 AM
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Sparky

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No acorns no oak.
 06/10/2006 06:10 AM
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Central Floridave

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I guess it has all ready been deduced that live oak don't send out root growth and scrub oak do.

Use a machete' and cut the root growth as needed. Or, bush hog it.

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