Named for the founder of Trees for Tucson, the Joan Lionetti live oak is the first and only oak cultivar that was selected and bred specifically for our unique growing conditions in the arid Southwest. Quercus fusiformis was once classified as a subspecies of the southern live oak (Q. virginiana), and the two trees are certainly very similar in appearance. However, this species is more tolerant of high soil pH, long periods of drought, and freezing temperatures.
The very first Joan Lionetti live oak was selected out from thousands of oak seedlings at our growing farm. It grew faster than the others, and had an upright form with a straight trunk and a dense, symmetrical canopy. These features, along with the tree’s smaller stature, make it an ideal choice for residential or streetscape settings. Its leathery, dark green leaves are soft and fuzzy underneath, and although the tree is evergreen through even our coldest winters, Joan Lionetti live oak will briefly shed older leaves in spring to make room for fresh foliage.
Height: 20 – 30 feet
Width: 20 – 30 feet
Bloom color: Inconspicuous
Flowering season: Spring
USDA minimum zone: 7
Cold hardiness: 0° F


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