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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cathedral Oak a Good Choice But May Be Hard to Find

Q. A few days ago we saw a cathedral oak at the Springs Preserve.  It was identified as "Quercus virginiana 'Cathedral'"on its little sign.  Does it do well in Las Vegas?   Do its leaves fall at all (like pine needles drop)?  How tall/wide does it get in our area?  Is it a fast grower?  Any other facts?
A. From Andrea Meckley.
Below is some information about Quercus virginiana 'Cathedral'.  I did contact Pete Duncombe at the Springs Preserve and his comment was   "they are performing very well".  I have not seen any locally available and the nursery Pete got them from is now out of business.  This plant is listed on the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition Plant List as a semi-evergreen, maturing about 40' x 40', requiring moderate to high water use. USDA hardiness zones for this plant are  7B through 10B covering Las Vegas at USDA zone 9a.  Personally I think it is a possibility, however because of the availability and water usage, I would go with one that Bob suggested, Holly oak.

The Cathedral Live Oak tree is a Quercus virginiana or Southern Live Oak and it is a cultivar (Quercus virg. 'SDLN' pp12015) meaning it is cloned from a mother tree with the same DNA to copy the dense and upward structure of the tree.  Properly pruned, the Cathedral Live Oak Tree will not sprawl as wide as a Standard Live Oak Tree. The Cathedral does grow as tall  and is considered a happy medium between the narrower Highrise Live Oak and a typical Standard Live Oak.

Holly Oak (Quercus ilex) matures around 30' high x 20' wide.  An evergreen, medium water user, that has a slow to medium growth rate depending on soil and water conditions.  It forms a round head with dark green leaves covered with hairs beneath and seasonal acorns.  I have seen them available at local nurseries (Star and Plant world).   If you don't see them, they can be special ordered.  

I hope this info helps and you enjoy your new town of Las Vegas.

Andrea Meckley, CH
Horticultural Consultant and ASHS Certified Horticulturist

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