Texas Live Oak

Texas live oak (Quercus fusiformis), is found in Texas and parts of Oklahoma and Mexico. Texas Mature Texas live oaks provide deep shade and are extremely heat tolerant. The acorns are sweet and sought out by animals and birds.

Common names: Plateau live oak, Escarpment live oak, Interior live oak, West Texas live oak

Live Oaks in Highland Park, Texas.

Species Details

Canopy: dense, spreading

Leaf: dark green, glossy, oblong, 1 to 6 inches long

Bark: hard, dark

Fruit: small acorns, ½ to 1 inch long; fall, winter

Height: up to 50 feet

Spread: up to 40 feet

Growth rate: up to 12 inches per year, but can take twenty years to provide good shade

Hardiness zones: 1 – 8

Light requirement: thrives in full sun

Reasons to plant

Native to Central Texas, Texas live oak is extremely heat tolerant. It also adapts well to various soil types in North Central Texas. Large varieties offer deep shade.


Texas live oaks grow well from the seed (acorn) if allowed to germinate in moist, warm soil. Seed development is vulnerable to insects, animals, and birds.


Texas live oaks prefer rocky, well-drained soil, and can be difficult to maintain in an environment of overly-watered turf grass. Pests include insect galls. But the galls are harmless. They require regular pruning and must be monitored for oak wilt. Oak wilt is a fungus that has killed millions of oak trees in Texas. For more information on the management and control of oak wilt in Texas, please visit the Texas Oak Wilt website.

Krista White

Krista White

Krista is a member of the marketing and education team at Tree Shepherds. A lifelong learner, she loves writing about anything from Hemingway to Quercus macrocarpa.