The Southern Live Oak is an iconic image in The Peach State, better known as Georgia. One of a variety of live oaks, the Southern Live Oak is an evergreen, shedding its leaves only to grow new ones immediately. Shiny pointed leaves help to identify this tree, which is common throughout Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. The Southern Live Oak varies greatly in height, from a short shrub to trees to towering at 60 feet. The tree also extends outward up to 80 feet, providing shade. The Georgian tree planter is not relegated to the Live Oak, though; there are hundreds of trees to choose from when planting on the right property.
Due to its humid summers, frequent thunderstorms, and severe weather systems, the smart Georgian grower will need to consider the following; average precipitation, soil type, irrigation, climate, growing zones and weather damage.
Best Trees for Georgia
Read about the specifics for your state in the following sections. If you’re looking for some quick ideas on what to plant, consider the following trees as expert-tested and The Tree Center approved:
- Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree
Ideal for providing stunning beauty and shade.
- Autumn Purple Ash
Ideal for providing unique fall colors, shade, climate tolerance.
- Red Haven Peach Tree
Ideal for bearing fruit, adding color, and edible profits.
- Muskogee Crape
Ideal for mildew resistance, fragrant lavender blooms, and fast-growing height.
Fast Growing Privacy Trees in Georgia
As property in Georgia continues to be developed, land owners are searching for trees that will provide privacy from prying neighborly eyes and loud, unwanted noise. There are many fast growing privacy trees in Georgia, which will quickly grow after initial planting to offer your property and family the privacy for which you’ve been searching.
The Thuja Green Giant, a staple of privacy trees throughout the United States, is a fast-growing pine that will quickly provide a barrier between you and your neighbors. Growing between 3-5 feet a year, the Thuja Green Giant will offer your yard classic French design with minimal hassle. Alternatively, the Italian Cypress and Junipers ‘Wichita Blue’ will also add color and privacy to your yard’s perimeter.
Georgia’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and location deep within the humid subtropical climate means it is typically hot and humid in the summer and mild in the winter. This is less true in mountainous regions of the north, where higher elevation produces slightly cooler summers and colder winters. Georgia can be quite hot, with the record high standing at 112°F in 1952. It has dropped low in the past, usually due to severe weather, and in 1940 the temperature in Floyd County hit -17°F. This is uncommon, though, and typically even the winter temperatures are above 0°F.
Most trees require well-drained soil rich with minerals to grow. Georgia’s soil is unique, and even to the untrained eye, exceptionally easy to differentiate from other southern states. Georgia’s soil contains iron oxides, which give the soil its rich red coloring. Typically, the redder the soil is the less humus and organic matter it contains. Like most things, organic matter in soil requires a balance. Regardless of the property’s location in The Peach State, a soon-to-be tree planter can perform a simple test to determine his/her soil type.
The squeeze test is a tool pedologists (soil scientists) use to determine the type of soil in a given area. Remove the first layer of soil and grab a handful of damp (but not wet) dirt. Then, squeeze the soil in the palm of your hand. When you open your hand, the results will help you to determine your specific type of soil.
1. The squeezed soil holds its squeezed shape. If you poke it, the soil will still hold its squeezed shape. You have CLAY
2. The squeezed soil holds its squeezed shape. However, when you poke it the squeezed soil collapses. Congratulations, you have LOAM.
3. The soil collapses as soon as you open your hands. You have SAND.
Once you know what soil type you have, you can find trees best suited to the dirt’s properties. Loam is the best soil to have, as its unique qualities make it ideal for holding and transferring water to trees.
The Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean are large factors in the amount of precipitation Georgia receives in a given year. Rain and snow totals vary greatly; in quieter years, Georgia will receive a healthy 45 inches, whereas storm-filled years can bring upwards of 75 inches. Particularly bad storms, such as Tropical Storm Alberto, dropped 20 inches of rain in 24-hour periods. In other years, droughts have affected the area leading to dry soil and water access problems. Small amounts of snow do fall frequently in the winter.
Irrigation is a necessity in Georgia, where frequent variances in water quantity require the control a system can bring. Over 1.5 million acres of farmland are irrigated throughout the state, and small homeowners can use similar systems to ensure successful growth of newly planted trees. Trees freshly planted require consistent and controlled access to water, and sprinkler systems, drip systems, and wells offer this to the savvy planter. Explore water access in your area, and install a simple drip or sprinkler system on your own to make sure new trees grow strong.
Georgia contains five unique growing zones. A growing zone simply refers to the USDA’s determination of areas where certain plants are most likely to thrive, preferring to focus on minimal temperature ranges in which a plant can survive. In the northernmost regions, bordering Tennessee and North Carolina, planters can expect temperatures to drop to -5°F. In southern regions the maritime effect causes milder weather, with plants only needing to survive temperatures as high as 15°F.
Georgia reports the most tornadoes annually, though many are small and do not cause much damage. Additionally, Georgia’s location, between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, means most tropical storms will hit the region. Hurricanes, traveling over Georgia’s southern neighbor Florida, bring raging winds and rains that cause the extreme yearly variations in weather. The Georgian planter should carefully plant trees to minimize risk if they should fall. Also, remember trees prevent erosion, so they can add property value and security to a ho