Growing oaks from acorns

Roger Case rcase at
Wed Sep 28 18:02:32 EST 1994

In article <369opt$sn7 at> dmaraganore at (Jim Maraganore) writes:

>> My three year old son and I need advice re: planting acorns.  Over the
>> last few years, we've noted oak seedlings coming up in our shredded
>> landscape bark.  We quickly learned to attribute this to squirrels. 
>> The first year, we (I) were kind of dumb, and just pulled them out as
>> weeds.  This fall, after buying seedlings from the DNR for
>> reforestation purposes (12 acres solid of mature oaks), I got the idea
>> to transplant my "weed oaks".  Then my son got into collecting acorns
>> by the dozens and hording them indoors.  After all the window sills
>> were loaded up with them, I had a stroke of genius, and the two of us
>> went out and played "squirrel" all morning.  I used a small dibble
>> stick to create a hole about 4 inches deep.  My son then dropped in a
>> few acorns, and on to the next site.  Yes, I've thought of letting
>> nature do its own thing, but it doesn't always do it where I want.
>> Anyone with experience planting acorns?  Do we need to scarify the
>> seeds?  Do they need to be cold stratified, or will they grow in flats
>> indoors?  In other words, how can I best use my own acorns to grow and
>> transplant my own seedlings?
>> Thanks!

Speaking from experience, I hasve had success in simply collecting the acorns 
when they fall from around oaks, placing them in a seed sprouting box (an old 
ammo wooden container from the local surplus store) filled with sand and 
gravel (maybe with a litttle peat moss), pressing them lightly into the soil, 
and covering them with wire mesh 9to keep the squirrel and other creatures 
from removing them.  I do this in the fall.  Then I let nature take its course 
-- they come up the next spring like clockwork.  

There are two types of oaks however, some produce acorns which will germinate 
in the fall, winter over, and then continue to grow in the spring -- 
others do not germinate until the winter is over and them proceed to grow.  If 
you know what kind of oak the acorns are from, you can determine when they 
will first germinate.  Good luck.

Roger Case  

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