Q. What is the life span of an oak tree?
The life span of oaks varies according to the species of oak. The average life span is about 100 - 300 years, but particular species can live for shorter or longer times.
The water oak (Quercus nigra), native to the southeastern United States, lives for only 30 to 50 years and the laurel oak (Q. laurifolia), also native to the Southeast, lives 50 to 60 years.
In contrast. southern live oaks (Q. virginiana) can live more than 200 years. Some very long-lived specimens are known. Among them are the Middleton Oak and the Angel Oak, both in South Carolina. The Angel Oak is thought to be 400 to 500 years old.
Other long-lived American species are holly oak (Q. ilex) the canyon live oak (Q. chrysolepsis) and valley oak (Q. lobatea). Common oaks such as the red oak (Q. rubra) and white oak (Q. alba) are also long-lived. In Britain, many very old specimens of the English oak (Q. robur) are known. One tree growing at Blenheim Palace is thought to be about 1500 years old. Closer to home, the New York Botanical Garden has a 275 year old Red Oak growing in the Thane Family Forest.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service