oak tree germination?

Beverly Erlebacher bae at cs.toronto.edu
Thu Sep 25 13:54:59 EST 1997

In article <342987b0.154903110 at nr1.vancouver.istar.net>,
 <binaryboy at intouch.bc.ca> wrote:
>what are the chances of me germinating an oak tree from an acorn from
>an oak tree down the street? at what period during the acorn's
>development would be best for planting? does it have to experience
>cold before it will start to grow? how wet? fertilizers? ETC???
>		aram <binaryboy at intouch.bc.ca>

Yes, temperate oaks need a cold period.  Collect some acorns when they
fall and plant them in your garden.  The best method is probably to plant
them in a pot and bury the pot up to its rim.  THey should come up in the
spring.  Plant a handful since many acorns may be infested with maggots.
Don't bother with the ones that have little holes drilled in them.

If you are hoping to grow an oak as a permanent tree in your yard, you 
can either move the seedling to its permanent location and mulch and water
it well for the first few years, or grow it in a buried pot or nursery bed
for a few years.  In this case dig it up and replant it every year (or repot
it pruning and straightening the roots) when it is dormant to keep the root
ball compact.  If you just let it grow, then dig it up after a few years to
move it, you won't be able to get enough roots and you may kill the tree.
If you don't straighten the roots in a pot, they will get woody in the circling
positions and strangle each other as the tree grows.

Keeping the pots buried keeps the soil from drying out and overheating, and
protects it from freeze-thaw cycles in winter, which can tear up the roots.

I think you will have extra enjoyment from a tree you've grown from seed!

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