Trees provide essential habitat features for birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects. Resources provided by trees include food, shelter from the sun and rain, and places to hide, nest, and roost. As a group, oak species are among the most useful hardwood trees to many species of animals.
Oaks are relatively long-lived, slow-growing trees. They vary widely in size and form, with some species never growing in stature beyond a short shrub and others developing into large trees with such extensive crowns that they are wider than they are tall. Florida is home to 24 species of native oaks that grow in a variety of conditions, from very dry sandy uplands to periodically flooded bottomland forests.