A live oak north of the Mason-Dixon?

    A reader had a question about oak trees following a post about Philadelphia street trees from Ground Level blogger Nicole Juday: Had he discovered a live oak in his neighborhood?

    In her Ground Level column, Nicole Juday wrote the last post in a series on Philadelphia street trees on the mighty oak tree.

    NewsWorks reader Jack Peters wrote in to ask about indentifying one tree in particular, the live oak, a traditionally Southern species:

    “We have oak trees in our neighborhood that have pointy narrow leaves, somewhat like those of “live” oaks that are down south. Are these truly oaks or have we misnamed them?”

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Juday wrote back:

    “I have only seen one live oak in Philadelphia, which is in Fairmount Park near the Horticultural Center. We’re pretty far north of its usual range. I wonder if the oak trees you are seeing are willow oaks. These are large trees with tiny, narrow leaves the size of minnows.

    “Another possibility would be the sawtooth oak, a smaller tree whose leaves have little barbs (like the blade of a saw). A check on Google images should confirm whether either of these guesses are right.”

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal