Live Oak

A Live Oak at Brazos Bend State Park.

The Texas coast is mostly without natural forest cover. Where it is not cultivated it is largely coastal prairie with fresh and brackish marshes in the lower areas. Most remaining coastal prairie is used to graze cattle. This open terrain is broken only by groves dominated by coastal Live Oak. 

This venerable tree, relatively impervious to the ravages of the coastal environment, often forms rounded groves of various sizes locally known as “mottes”. These result from the live oak’s ability to send up shoots from its expansive root system forming thickets and eventually substantial groves. The oaks in turn provide the shelter that less hardy plants require resulting in a dense, nurturing oasis in the extensive grasslands.

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