Sunday, June 13, 2010

June 13 - The Southern Red Oak - Quercus falcata

June 13 - The Southern Red Oak

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Today's tree is the Southern Red Oak. The southern oak pictured in this blog lives in Cookeville, Tennessee, at my Mom and Sister's house. This beautiful oak tree is probably 80 feet tall. I love this tree. It reminds of strength; probably because this tree stands so tall and strong each day through the seasons, year after year. It is beautiful, providing food and shelter for countless birds and small mammals.

The leaves of this tree are variable. However, they most always have a long narrow lobe in the center of the leave that is sometimes called a finger. The upper sides of these leaves are shiny green and the undersides are dull with felt-like hairs. The Southern Red Oak has a characteristic bell-shaped leaf base.

I want to climb a big Southern Red Oak tree, and I may just get the opportunity. I found out that Panola Mountain State Park in Georgia has a Southern Red Oak Tree Climbing program. They call it a Nocturnal Tree Top Excursion. Here is a quote from what I read:

Nocturnal Tree Top Excursion

Experience climbing trees like you never have before with a rope and harness at night.
Participants will climb a 90-foot Southern Red Oak. This nocturnal climb will include
fluorescent lichen and other glowing critters of the night, stargazing and night climbing
activities. To register in advance or for more information call 770-389-7801. $20 plus $3
Panola Mountain State Park / 2600 Ga. Hwy 155 SW, Stockbridge, GA 30281

I found the biggest Southern Red Oak in the National Register of Big Trees. It is in Upson, Georgia. It has a circumference of 332 inches. It has a height of 123 feet. It has been the champion since 1996.
Location: Upson, GA

Tree Quote:

"Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth."
Hermann Hesse



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