Adding a great presence to the landscape, Quercus hemisphaerica (Laurel Oak) is a medium to large, evergreen or tardily deciduous tree of pyramidal habit in youth, becoming more rounded with age. The leaves, up to 4 in. long (10 cm), are shiny, leathery, with smooth margins or edges. Dark green above, bright green underneath, they fall in spring when the new leaves emerge. The bark is gray and mostly smooth when young, becoming dark brown with deep furrows producing flat ridges with maturity. The acorns are small with a grayish cup that covers about 1/3 of the dark brown nut. They are biennial and are a valuable source of food for many species of mammals and birds. A fast grower, it is appreciated for its ability to grow in a variety of conditions including dry and poorly drained soils. Popular in the South and mid-Atlantic, it makes an excellent shade or lawn tree for large areas or for use in naturalized areas. Relatively short-lived (75–125 years), it is excellent for wildlife.
Grows up to 40-60 ft. tall (12-18 m) and 30-40 ft. wide (9-12 m).
A full sun to part shade lover, this tree is easily grown in loamy or sandy, acidic, well-drained soils. Adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions including clay. Drought and salt tolerant.
Perfect as a specimen plant.
Relatively easy to transplant. Susceptibility to diseases and rot with maturity.
Native to the southeastern United States from southern North Carolina to Florida and west to Arkansas and Texas.