Another Live Oak At WDW - Epcot World Showcase
I don't know exactly what I was doing - maybe waiting for Nat or trying to find some shade. Or both. But, I found myself face-to-face with a tree that had this plaque right underneath it on the entrance side of the World Showcase at the Epcot Center on our most recent trip. This is right behind the Refreshment Port and that little body of water you see in the background is the pond/lake/lagoon that is normally done up with the flower quilt during the Flower and Garden show.
But, back to that tree. And the plaque. Here's a close-up of it:
It is a Quercus virginiana - a Live Oak. The plaque at Epcot reads:
Native to Southeast United States
This stately tree measures its lifetime in centuries. A massive tree, the "Live Oak" can reach a height of 60 feet with 100-foot spread. The wood is very strong and hard, making it one of the heaviest of North American trees.
Those of you paying attention know this isn't the first time I've posted about Live Oaks. The first time appears to be all the way back in 2010 when I was recounting all the things I learned in Charleston on vacation. Live Oaks growing together to make them hurricane-proof being one.
But I've also written about Live Oaks specifically at Disney World. Here's a post from just over a year ago showing a Live Oak that is located at the Port Orleans Resort. That tree was brought in and the resort was basically built around it. Incredible.
Backing out from the first photo, here's a look at the Live Oak at Epcot's trunk:
I can't help but spend time trolling the Web trying to find a tree alternative to the Live Oak that would survive in our zone. The most likely species I've come across that has the same branching/architecture of the Live Oak but doesn't take 200 years to achieve it is the London Plane Tree. Platanus × acerifolia. Or a Shingle Oak. Quercus imbricaria. They both are zone tolerant, grow faster than a lot of big trees and have those gently swooping down branches that reach far out to the sides.
But first things first. The row/hedge of European Hornbeams has to be our top priority tree-wise this Spring. Privacy and shielding the view to the north will improve everything about our backyard and we need eight or so of them, so it will be a significant investment. Also, in 2017, we added nine trees to our #newoldbackyard, side yard and front yard, so we have a lot of young trees going already. Adding eight or nine for the privacy hedge will bring our total up to close to 20 trees added to our property in just two short seasons. And, as I showed last fall, the landscape plan calls for the addition of Canadian Hemlock trees in a few clusters, so that's even more trees.