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Cherrybark oak

Friends often ask me where I get ideas for gardening columns. Some topics arise from random articles I read on the internet, and the subjects of many columns relate to successes and failures we have experienced in our years of gardening. The best topics come from suggestions by friends and colleagues, who either have a specific question, or have knowledge or expertise in an area.

Last week, I received an email from Lisa Deaton, Area Forester for the Virginia Department of Forestry. When I hear from Lisa, I know I am going to read some interesting suggestions.

Lisa mentioned cherrybark oaks and live oaks. I know a little about live oaks, but cherrybark oak was a name I had not heard. Lisa noted that cherrybark is a fast-growing shoreline tree that grows tall and straight.

Cherrybark oak (Quercus pagoda) was formerly classified as a variety of southern oak (Quercus falcata), and you may see it listed as Q. falcata subsp. pagodifolia in some sources. It gets its common name from...

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