Like live oaks, Monterrey oaks are semi-evergreen, meaning that they retain their leaves through the winter, but drop them all in the spring.
This tree has a more upright shape than live oak, and the leaves are much larger. It gets about 40 feet tall, and is a great choice for a larger landscape space.
Mexican white oak performs best in well drained, even rocky soil, so if you have clay soil, you may want to choose a different tree. Since it is sensitive to being overly wet, once established, you really shouldn’t water it, except in the hottest, longest of dry spells.
It will require a little pruning to raise the canopy, but otherwise won’t need anywhere near as much shaping as a live oak to be healthy.
The new growth is frost tender, which I learned the hard way, after fertilizing my tree just a little too early last year and having all my luscious new growth completed frost bitten. It didn’t take long to grow out of that damage, though, and after an abnormally wet fall, I expect my Monterrey oak may spring up several feet this growing season.