Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 60 days , or until radicle emergence
Germination: sow seed 3/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
Other: fall sowing in mulched beds is prefered to artificial stratification
Looking for a small, evergreen oak to add beauty to your landscape? Look no further than the Quercus myrtifolia, commonly known as myrtle oak. This small, often shrubby oak features a spreading rounded crown and smooth dark brown bark. It belongs to the red oak group and typically grows to a height of 15-20 feet and spreads 8-10 feet wide, although occasionally it can rise to as much as 35 feet tall.
Native to dry sandy soils of dunes, sandhills, dry ridges, and hammocks, the myrtle oak is primarily found along the coastal plain from South Carolina to southern Florida west to Alabama and Mississippi. It can also be found on some off-shore islands where it forms extensive thickets.
The myrtle oak has shiny, leathery leaves that are dark green above and yellow-green to orange-brown beneath. The leaves are obovate in shape with a bristle at the rounded tip, and the margins are rolled under and toothless. The foliage is considered evergreen as the leaves persist on the tree until new growth begins in spring. Inconspicuous green flowers bloom in April to May, followed by ovoid to globular acorns.
This versatile tree is perfect for dry, sunny landscape areas. With its low maintenance requirements and tolerance for drought and dry soil, it is an excellent choice for gardens. It also adds a touch of winter interest with its smooth, dark brown bark and lichen-covered trunks when mature.
The Quercus myrtifolia is winter hardy in USDA Zones 8-10 and thrives in sandy, well-drained soils. It can be grown in full sun to part shade, and established plants have good drought resistance. While oaks in general are susceptible to diseases and insect pests, the myrtle oak does not face any serious problems.
If you are looking for a small, evergreen oak to enhance your landscape with its shiny leaves and charming appearance, the Quercus myrtifolia is the perfect choice. Plant it as an accent tree or shrub in dry, sunny areas, and enjoy its beauty year-round.