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The mighty, majestic oak has, throughout the centuries, been the subject of story, song and proverb. More than 80 species of this beautiful tree are found in North America. All oaks are deciduous trees with toothed leaves and heavy, furrowed bark. The fruit is, of course, the acorn. Like other deciduous trees, most oaks shed their leaves in fall. However, in warmer areas of the continent, some varieties, the ‘live’ oaks, keep their greenery throughout the winter. Oaks have always been economically important for their hard, strong wood which has a multitude of purposes including furniture and flooring. Oaks also have landscape uses although mature trees can dominate smaller sites.
Probably the most important factor for a healthy oak tree is good soil. The type of soil determines not only how much nutrients and water the plant has access to, but also how efficiently the tree can use those nutrients. This can determine whether your oak can successfully withstand the stresses of growing in an urban environment or fight diseases such as oak wilt. As a homeowner, the best contribution you can make to your oak tree's soil and to the long-term viability of your tree is the addition of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi.
To learn more about mycorrhizal fungi, click here.