Nov 13, 2015

The Live Oak in the South

Oak Alley Plantation with oak lined pathway

We in the south love our Live Oaks.  They are as much a part of our landscape as a home itself.  There is a tradition of sorts that follows the planting of them in our yards.

Many of them were planted in the 17 and 1800s.  I read somewhere where the tradition of lining one's driveway with them had a purpose.  I just thought they did it for the beauty of it and have always loved them.  The reason was that these grand trees are very thirsty and would keep the driveways drier for easier transportation whatever the means of travel.  Did you know that?

I found in reading further that Napoleon installed thousands of Platanus along French roads for his soldiers to have shade but he did the same in Russia to soak up the snow.  There are trees that line the Champs Elysees and people have always wondered why.  I had no idea as to the reasoning behind planting them.

Jackson Home in South Carolina

 Home in Louisiana said to be haunted

I think that I've always dreamed of the Oak lined driveway leading up to a majestic looking two story home.  I have been a part of building two such homes.  One I call the House at Forest Lake and The Hibiscus House is a home in progress even after almost ten years.  There are still more trees that need to be planted in my mind anyway if not reality.  The land around us is family farmland so that may not happen but some semblance of that I'm making out here anyway.

 Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina
I certainly can't leave this one out!
Check out the video below

The Angel Oak John's Island near Charleston, S. C.
Did you know it is reported to be 1500 years old?
You can read more about this tree  Here 

Added this photo so you could get an idea as to the size of this tree.

Gone With the Wind:  Twelve Oaks Drive
The second picture was of a painted picture in a scene from the movie
Who can forget this?  Plantation Homes, Oaks and Scarlett O'Hara
Chuck likes to call me Scarlett because of my love for these .  

The Mighty Oak

This picture found on the internet made me stop and think of trees and how we think of them.  One Oak Tree in particular it brought to mind.  My father in law said of me, "I don't think I've ever known someone to build a home around a tree!"  Yes he couldn't believe that I wanted our home way back off of the road not in line with the other homes.  I had gone off and done something so crazy in his mind.

It wasn't crazy to me and I was excited for us to build our two story Colonial Home off from the road and to have one large Oak Tree for shade right off the bat!  We then proceeded to plant the driveway and yard with Oaks.  I even went down to our lake and brought back Spanish Moss to cover them and for awhile they kept some.  Yes Oaks filled with Spanish Moss covering the driveway.  That was the other home, not Hibiscus House.

Wouldn't you know it we built the home behind the tree, the tree became diseased and had to be cut down.  Sad, I was, but then something happened.

Within a year another Oak Tree came up in the very spot.  It wasn't a Live Oak but another variety of Oak.  It is now a huge sprawling tree giving shade to the home.  This picture above reminds me of what I said when seeing the little seedling coming up in the very spot.  I knew the Lord had sent us another tree to replace the other that had died.
I found out years later that we had actually been so Oak Tree crazy that we planted them too closely.  Keep that in mind when planting your trees.  Oh, we planted them according to the guidelines but I'll advise you now to allow even more space in between the Live Oak Trees than the guidelines say.  Here in the South things grow very big!  We still have that home and the trees take lots of trimming and require lots of limb pickups.

Hibiscus House 2015 Oak Tree approximately 8-9 years old.

We have 4 Live Oaks in the front yard that we planted.  The home is fairly young as trees grow less than 10 years old.  I can't wait for these trees to grow big and strong with the needed shade they will provide.

Here at Hibiscus House we are just trying to manage more rain than we've ever had.  The yards are mushy under foot and finally beginning to dry some.  The rains we have had here in South Carolina have taken a toll on our driveway and now is when I wish our entire driveway was lined with the Oaks.
Today is the first day in over a month that I've been able to walk the yard without standing in water and sinking down.  Thankful for the sun drying up the water.

One of the four Oaks planted was given to me by my mama "Dot".  It is as original as she was!  Once she made a feather tree for Christmas and it was a "Dot Original".  Wish I still had that thing it went in every direction.  That is how my Oak that she gave me looks the limbs just go all squiggly around in every direction.  I started when it was even smaller trying to trim but finally gave up because it has a mind of its own. I will share it with you..

 "Dot's Feather Oak Tree"
 I don't know if you can tell that every limb has branches that go in every direction
Very Unique and Very "Dot"

Have a great weekend and I hope it is dry where you are
Remember to plant more trees!


  1. Oak trees are one of my favorite trees, besides magnolia's. This was a great post Dolly.