In a Nutshell:
* Quercus hemisphaerica ( Laurel Oak , Darlington Oak , Laurel-leaf Oak ) is a species of oak native to the Southeastern United States . It is in the red oak section Quercus sect. Lobatae . It is often confused with and closely related to the Swamp Laurel Oak in which it differs in several key characteristics.
* Quercus hemisphaerica is a medium-sized evergreen to semi-evergreen tree which can grow as tall as 115 feet (35m) tall with a 5-foot (1.5m) trunk diameter, although it is more commonly around 60 to 65 feet (18m-20m) tall. The leaves are entire, without teeth except one apical awn (rarely with a few teeth near apex), mostly elliptical or narrowly ovate, and 1.2 to 4.7 inches (3cm to 12cm) long by 0.4 to 1.6 inches (1cm to 4cm) wide. The petiole is very short ranging from 1/25 to 1/5 of an inch(1mm to 5mm) long and the leaf base is obtuse to rounded. The acorns are hemispheric in shape and 0.35 to 0.6 inches(9 to 16.5mm) by 0.35 to 0.6 inches(9 to 16.5mm). The acorns take 18 months to mature and are 1/4 to 1/3 covered by a saucer to bowl shaped cap.
* When both sand laurel oak (Q. hemisphaerica) and swamp laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia) are growing in the same area, sand laurel oak will flower about two weeks later than the swamp laurel oak.
* Sand laurel oak grows on dry sandy soils while swamp laurel oak grows on flood plains, river bottoms, and occasionally poorly drained upland soils.
* Sand laurel oak has narrow ovate or elliptic leaves, while swamp laurel oak has rhombic or broad ovate leaves.
* Sand laurel oak has an acute leaf apex and a rounded or obtuse leaf base, while swamp laurel oak has an obtuse or rounded leaf apex and a cuneate or attenuate leaf base.
* Sand laurel oak is mostly evergreen, while swamp laurel oak is mostly tardily deciduous. more...
* Laurel oak is fast growing and matures in about 50 years. Used for firewood and as an urban shade tree. The largest known laurel oak grows near Wrens, Jefferson County, Georgia. more...