Laurel Oak is a tall, broad tree that grows to a height of 60 or more feet with a fairly symmetrical oval canopy spread of 40 to 60 feet. The fast growth rate results in relatively weak wood that is prone to break and decay.

Laurel Oaks have a lifespan of 50 to 70 years when grown in ideal conditions. These trees are moderately drought tolerant and have a low salt tolerance.

The leaves of the Laurel Oak are smooth, narrow, shiny green on top and pale underneath with a yellow midrib. The margins of the leaves are either smooth or irregularly lobed. Acorns are about ½ inch long and found singly attached directly to the twig. The bark is a dark reddish-brown that becomes deeply fissured with age.

Habitat: Laurel oak hails from the coastal plains from Florida to Texas and north to Virginia. It is most commonly found in the wild growing in low woods and alongside streams, rivers and swamps. The tree attracts animals such as deer, quail, ducks and squirrels. In the home garden, laurel oak may be grown in full or partial sun in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 to 9. It is often used as a shade tree where there is space to accommodate it.

Life Span: Laurel oaks are fairly short-lived trees, generally living for 50 to 70 years. Once they reach 50 years old, they often begin to decay inside, hollowing out. This rotten hollow can extend more than 20 feet through the trunk of the tree.

Though not especially susceptible to pests, oaks are susceptible to several diseases, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden, including anthracnose, cankers, oak leaf blister, oak wilt and powdery mildew. The Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) is considered a longer lived, more robust tree.

Timber: In the woodworking world, laurel oak is categorized with other "red" oaks due to its reddish brown timber. Laurel oak timber is strong, hard and like other oaks distinctly aromatic. It absorbs stain and polish easily and is often used for cabinetry, furniture and flooring.

Some sensitive individuals may experience some skin and eye irritation when handling the wood. The Wood Database describes laurel oak timber as having "exceptional value" due to its strength and affordability.