Live Oaks & Resurrection Ferns

Cousin Tim & his wife were having a little discussion about live oaks.  He commented on the photo of the driveway heading down into the Old House Plantation – “are those live oaks bordering the driveway?”  His wife wisecracked what did he think they were – dead oaks?  Cousin Tim is a smart guy.  He knows that “live oak” is the actual name of the tree, and not because they are alive, but because they do not lose their leaves in the wintertime like other deciduous oaks. 

The live oaks are fairly common here, but generally are planted, like along a driveway.  A lane of oaks around here is called an “allee”.  You can find the origins of the word allee by clicking on this link.  I went to a DAR meeting several years back in a neighboring county, and I had never heard the word “allee”.  I could barely understand what the main speaker was saying.  Her Southern accent was that pronounced, and I had to strain with concentration to catch the gist of the presentation.  I thought that I spoke some kind of Southern, but this lady had me beat, and then she threw out the word “allee”.  It had about 5 syllables. 

There are also ferns that grow on the oaks.  You can read more about resurrection ferns by clicking on this link.  That’s why the tops of the live oak limbs look hairy – they’re covered in resurrection ferns. 

On to the pictures.  (Yes, I took them out the driver’s side window.  No, did not get arrested.)

This house was for sale a few years ago. It's about 100 years old, with a huge corner lot, and marvelous trees. Driver's side mirror in lower right corner adds local color.


Same tree as in the previous photo. Hang out the car window a bit and you can see the resurrection ferns.


The winter sun at midday accents the Spanish moss.


The next house on the same side of the street has several live oaks in front. Not sure what purpose the ladder serves.


I didn't get out of the car and climb this tree. But I wanted to.

These trees are about two blocks from my workplace.  Live oaks are a protected tree in this county since about 2007 when a new development plan went into effect.  Unfortunately for some people who were clearing a lot to build a house in the Old House section, they didn’t know about the ordinance.  They took down about 12 live oaks.  Oopsy.  They will have to replant trees at least 2″ in diameter to replace the ones they took down.  The planning department decided not to penalize them with a monetary fee, but it’s still going to hit them in the pocketbook.  Most people, myself included, don’t learn lessons until it affects us financially. 

So there’s your little live oak blog for today.


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3 Responses to “Live Oaks & Resurrection Ferns”

  1. Leo Says:

    Tim’s wife is not the only one that had no idea why they were called live oaks. Every time I’ve ever heard that term I said to myself, “Self, of course they’re not dead oaks.”


  2. Live Oaks & Resurrection Ferns, Part 2 « Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] About 2 years ago, I wrote about a post about some local live oaks and resurrection ferns.  You can read that post by clicking here. […]


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