Red Oak

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Wed Jun 23 17:01:01 EST 1999

> AL KINGSTON wrote:
> Hello all
> I was thinking of fall planting 1year old red oak .Also was
> going plant them 4 meters apart in 2 acre clear-cut

Well, first of all, I have never planted any trees- so anything
I say may not be incorrect.

But I think where you live is important and your ability to
watch over these seedlings for many years is critical. The site
should be a good oak site. Fertile, but well drained. South and
western slopes seem best here in western New England. The
distance apart sounds good- but that will get expensive I should
think. For 2 acres- that will be 600-700 trees.

In most clearcuts around here, or heavy cuts- new growth springs
up extremely fast. If that's true in your area too, you'll need
to "baby sit" these seedlings for years, cutting away the
natural regeneration of fast growing early succession species,
and all the other kinds of "weeds" that will come in- like berry
bushes, shrubs, etc. until the oak have claimed the site by
getting up at least 10 feet- at that point they should do OK in
the competition with less help from you.

> Question: do you think this is a good Idea? (the seedlings are
> now in a bead planted about 10" apart )
> What preparation should I do? , Should I wait tell year two?
> Is the spacing to large

Not sure about the preparation. The longer you wait, the more
likely the site will be filled with other trees and weeds. Close
spacing is fine, some will die; but the closer the spacing the
greater the cost.

> I plan on pruning the trees as they grow

Excellent; they shouldn't need it for 20 years at least- when
they are perhaps 40 feet tall. But be sure to prune some that
have multiple heads as early as possible. Watch for the ones
that have broken tops, multiple heads, or excessive branching
and prune those as the need arises.

> Also should I fertilize the seedlings now if so what should
> put on and how much ?

I'm not sure about this as I'm not an expert on planting; but
I'd say if it's a good oak site, it won't need fertilizing early
on. Perhaps some later on once the oak has grabbed on to the
site, otherwise you'll be fertilizing all those other trees that
come in and the weeds.

> Would appreciate an answer thank you Al Kingston

That's the best I can do. But, I have also crossposted this to
the 2 forestry newsgroups, alt.forestry and bionet.agroforestry.
If you are not yet subscribed to those areas, I suggest you do
so. I'm sure others there will have some suggestions.

Joe Zorzin, Silviculturist

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list