National Geographic : 1957 Oct
SLive Oak Is Named for Its Leaves Shiny, oblong leaves, 1/ to 5 inches long, always look fresh and alive. Long male catkins polli nate the woolly, red-tipped female blooms. © National Geographic Society 525 Paintings by National Geographic Artist Walter A. Weber Silvery Spanish Moss Drapes a Live Oak's Massive Limbs and Glossy Foliage Right, above: Long-stalked acorn measures nearly an inch in length. A scaly cup covers one-third of the narrow nut. Furrowed, dark-brown bark, up to an inch thick, is often tinged with red. southern Texas, growing even on sandy dunes. It seldom rises above 50 feet, but close to the ground it branches into three or four mas sive limbs that jut out almost horizontally for 50 feet or more, sometimes three times as far as the tree is high. The wood is the heaviest of native oak, so tough that it frequently turns the edges of tools. Before the days of steel bottoms, it was North America's most prized ship timber. The section where limbs fork from the trunk was singled out for stout braces, or "knees." The hull of the frigate Constitution, the gal lant "Old Ironsides," was of live oak from St. Simons Island, now in Georgia's Glynn County. Under magnificent live oaks there, John Wesley found religious inspiration and Sidney Lanier wrote The Marshes of Glynn.