How long for an oak tree to mature


How Long Does It Take to Grow an Oak Tree? Full Timeline

Oak trees are long-lived, slow-growing trees that can provide shade for yourself and shelter to wildlife. If you’re thinking about planting a tree in your yard, an oak tree is a great choice, but how long will it take to grow?

It takes oak trees 5 to 6 years to become completely self-sustainable. Even the fastest-growing oak trees will only grow about 3 feet per year. It takes decades before an oak tree is fully grown. Oak trees need 20 to 30 years to begin producing acorns of their own, depending on the type of oak tree.

We’ll walk you through the full timeline of an oak tree’s life so you’ll know exactly how long it takes to grow an oak tree. Plus, we’ll cover some tips to help your oak tree grow faster, and how to keep any pesky critters from eating your tree before it has a chance to grow!

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Which Oak Tree Should You Plant?

Whether you’re looking to plant a single oak tree, or looking to fill acres of land with these stately trees, you’ll need to decide what type of oak tree to plant.

The two broad categories of oak trees include red oaks and white oaks. Within these two categories are over 90 different types in North America.

So, how in the world do you decide which oak tree to plant?

The best oak tree to plant is going to be the same oak trees that live near you. Take a stroll around your yard or neighborhood and figure out what kind of oaks grow near you.

If you’re not sure, your local arborist or gardening center will know exactly which oak trees will be best to plant in your area. This will be based on what zone you live in, how cold it gets in the winter, how hot it gets in the summer, and how much rainfall your area gets.

Certain trees thrive in drier climates while others need higher rates of rainfall. Each oak tree will be uniquely adapted to certain conditions, so make sure you pick an oak tree that’s local to your area. Otherwise, it may not survive or it will have stunted growth.

How Quickly Does An Oak Tree Grow?

Because there are tons of different types of oak trees, there are tons of different growth rates, too!

Some oak trees can grow as much as three feet per year, such as the Nuttall Oak. Others, like the Post Oak, only grow about two inches. It all depends on what type of oak tree it is.

Weather conditions also play a small part in a tree’s growth rate. If the oak tree is grown in full sun, it’s likely to grow faster than one that’s in partial shade. Most oak trees cannot grow in full shade.

Proper soil conditions including PH and drainage will also affect how fast a tree grows. An oak that loves water will have a tough time growing in a dry climate, and vice versa.

Some oak trees live much longer and grow much faster than others. You can read our growth chart on the fastest growing oak trees here.

How Long Does It Take To Grow An Oak Tree? Full Timeline

So, you’ve found a local oak tree and you’re ready to grow one yourself. What can you expect? How long will you have to care for it?

Oak trees aren’t too hard to grow. They don’t require a ton of attention, so if you don’t have a green thumb you should still be safe to plant these majestic trees! 

Let’s start at the beginning and work our way through the timeline of growing an oak tree.

Live oak trees, specifically, grow at a different rate. You can view our guide to how long live oak trees live here.

Day 1: Finding The Right Oak Tree Acorn

The first day of our oak tree timeline includes finding a seed to plant! This is as easy as identifying your local oak trees and waiting for the right moment. 

The beginning of fall is the perfect time to go looking for acorns. According to Mississippi State University, picking acorns directly from the tree may not be the best idea as these can be immature.

Instead, wait until acorns begin falling from the tree. You’ll want to pick them up within 3 to 4 days of dropping. Otherwise, they could dry out and the seeds will no longer be viable. Even if you only want to plant a single oak tree, it’s best to pick up more acorns than you intend to plant.

Some of them will not be viable, so pick up as many as you like! You can discard the unusable ones back outside.

Here’s what to look for in your acorns:

  • Color: Acorns should be mostly brown with a slight tinge of green.
  • Cap scar: This is the widest part of the acorn and should be bright and firm when pressed with your fingers. If the cap is still on the acorn, you can gently discard it. If the cap does not come off easily, try a different acorn or find one without the cap.
  • Make sure there are no holes in the acorns: This is a sign that a weevil or other pest has already burrowed in and made a meal of the seed.
  • Check for mold or dark, mushy spots: You may be able to wash the mold off if there are no other acorns available, but it’s better to find acorns that are mold-free.

Once you’ve collected enough decent-looking acorns, it’s time to test if they’ll grow or not! Don’t worry, the test is a pass/fail with only one question: does it float or sink in water?

Acorns that float when placed in a bucket or bowl of water are not viable and can be discarded back outside. All the acorns that sink are the ones you can use to plant!

Day 1 – Day 30: Planting an Oak Acorn in The Fall

Now that we have viable acorns, it’s time to plant those puppies and watch them sprout! The only problem is that white oaks and red oaks require different handling when in the acorn stage.

Acorns from white oaks can be planted immediately after harvesting, but red oaks require a dormancy period. With that being said, you can plant both white oaks and red oaks immediately. The only difference is red oaks will not sprout until spring, while white oaks will sprout within 1 to 2 weeks of planting.

You can plant your acorn either in the place you want the tree permanently or somewhere more convenient. You can transplant the tree within the first year without any problems.

To prepare the area, till the soil. A good rule of thumb is to place the acorns one inch deep. You can plant up to five acorns per square foot. This will allow you to choose the healthiest sapling to transplant. Make sure wherever you plant the acorn, it will have plenty of sunlight.

If the acorn has already started sprouting, put the root-side down. If it hasn’t, simply plant the acorn sideways in the soil. 

Over the next two weeks, you’ll start to see stems and leaves emerging from the soil if you planted a white oak acorn. During this time, you’ll want to remove the smaller seedlings to give the better-growing seedlings a shot at becoming the tree you’ll plant permanently.

Be sure to remove any grass or weeds that emerge, as this can stunt the growth of your seedlings.

This is a particularly vulnerable time for the acorn because squirrels and other digging critters LOVE to dig up acorns, especially in late fall and winter. There are a few ways you can prevent this.

  • Lay chicken wire fence down: this is an especially good deterrent for red oak acorns as they will take a while to germinate and sprout. Be sure to remove the fencing once the stems begin peaking out from the soil.
  • Use hardware cloth: You can use this in the same fashion as chicken wire fence. Be sure to remove it when the seeds are ready to germinate (early spring for red oaks, about 5 days after planting for white oaks).

For white oaks, after about a month you should have a good idea of which seedling is the fastest-growing and tallest. You’ll want to use this one for your tree. Be sure to remove the other seedlings or transplant them to a different location to allow your prized seedling to gobble up all the sun and nutrients.

If you’re worried about which oak tree you grabbed an acorn from, you can read our full guide on the best oak trees to plant here.

Month 1 – Year 1: Oak Sowing In The Fall

The next year will be a very vulnerable time for your seedling. It will need protection from browsing animals like deer. 

You can use something like the Voglund Nursery Mesh Tree Bark Protector. The nice thing about this product is it comes in 4 different sizes, so you can continue to scale up the size as your seedling grows. It also comes with zip ties included for easy installation.

If you’d rather use something less bulky, you can try a product like ANPHSIN Tree Protector Wraps. These will help repel pests but can also help your seedlings and saplings through cold weather. 

Some claim that heavy critter browsing may not be deterred by this type of wrap, but it is inexpensive, so if the browsing pressure isn’t too high in your area it may be worth it!

Once your tree reaches a height of 3 feet, it is considered a sapling. Woohoo! This can take anywhere from 6 months to a few years, depending on the type of oak tree. So if you make it this far, congratulations!

Before we move forward, let’s get back to those dormant red oak acorns, and how else you might grow them.

Month 6 – Day 1: Sowing Oaks In The Spring

If you’d rather wait until spring to plant your acorns, you can store them in the fridge or plant them indoors in pots until you’re ready. This goes for both red oak and white oak acorns.

For red oak acorns, they will not begin to sprout until spring. After you collect them in the fall, store them in a plastic bag left partially open in the fridge for two months. 

Be sure to check them every few weeks for signs of mold growth. If you see any, simply wash it off and place them in new bags.

For white oak acorns, you can store them in moist sand in the refrigerator for up to four months. After this time you will either need to plant them outside or move them to a pot to start germinating.

If you have red oak acorns, their dormancy period should be over after about two months. At this point, you can move them to a pot or plant them outside. Due to outdoor winter conditions, it’s usually easier to move them to an indoor pot.

If you’re a bit unsure of the difference between red and white oak trees, you can read the key differences to each here.

Be sure your pot is at least 1 foot deep. You’ll want to use a mixture of potting soil and local topsoil. Just like with planting outside, you’ll want to plant a few acorns per pot so you can pick the largest one to move outside.

Plant the acorns sideways about one inch into the soil. The acorns only need watering once a week and should begin sprouting within two weeks.

Pro Tip For Planting Your Acorn
  • Use a slow-release fertilizer in your pot to promote fast and healthy growth. EasyGo Product Milorganite Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizer is a great option. It’s simple to use and contains no salt, so it can be used in drought areas.
  • Pots can sometimes promote root spiraling due to their shape. To combat this, prune or straighten the roots before transplanting.

Continue to monitor your seedlings as they grow, removing smaller seedlings where necessary to promote faster growth for your dominant seedling. It’s not until around April that you can safely move your seedlings outside.

Month 6 – Year 1: Sowing Oaks In The Spring

As soon as April rolls around and the birds start chirping, you can move your potted seedlings outside. It’s okay if temperatures dip below freezing again, oak trees can survive the frost.

Place your potted seedling in an area that gets partial shade. We don’t want to shock the tree with full sun just yet. For the next month or so, let your seedling get acclimated to outdoor life. If it hasn’t rained in over a week, be sure to water it.

After a month, you can move your seedling to full sun! Use our previous tips to protect your vulnerable seedling from browsing animals. For the next few months to few years, your seedling should grow substantially. Just like before, once it reaches a height of 3 feet it’s officially a sapling!

Year 1 – Year 5: Growing Oak Tree Saplings

Depending on the type of oak tree you planted, you may have to wait several years for it to reach its sapling stage. Others take less than a year.

But the awesome thing about saplings is they take WAY less work than our little acorns did. The big issue during this time is browsing, pests, and disease. Because our oak saplings are still young and small, they’re more susceptible to these things than a full-grown oak tree..

Another big issue: transplanting. If your small but mighty oak isn’t in its permanent location by now, it’s time to think about where you want to plant it. Find an area that will sit in full sun and make sure you visualize how big your oak will get and give it enough space to grow.

Transplanting within the first year should not be an issue with oak trees. The earlier you transplant the better. The longer you wait, the longer it will take for your oak tree to acclimatize to its new location, which could stunt its growth.

How To Transplant Your Oak Tree Sapling
  • Dig an appropriate-sized hole
  • Straighten or prune any spiraling roots
  • Place sapling in hole and cover with removed dirt
  • (optional) throw some mulch around your sapling to help retain moisture and deter digging critters like mice, moles, and voles.

For the next five years, you’ll need to be vigilant about browsing. Use tree guards or wraps to deter deer. You can also use scents and smells that deer or squirrels dislike to discourage them from coming near your sapling. 

Unfortunately, oak saplings can be susceptible to certain tree diseases. You can read our piece on the most common oak tree diseases here.

Year 5 – Year 50: Grown Adult Oak Tree

Once your oak tree hits the five-year mark, it’s generally good to go. You can breathe deep, relax, and watch from afar as this amazing tree continues to grow.

An oak tree reaches maturity around 30 years old, but this can vary depending on the type of oak tree. You know your oak tree is mature when it begins producing its own acorns that you can spot in the summer.

At this point, your oak tree may be fully grown. However, some oak trees will continue to grow for decades more, if not centuries!

Wrapping Things Up

Hopefully this timeline gives you a good idea of how long it takes to grow an oak tree. It can be fun to plant an acorn, care for it, and watch it grow. 

Although you may not be around when your mighty oak tree has reached full maturity and height, generations to come will be able to enjoy its shade and the wildlife that call it home. Not a bad legacy to leave behind!

Happy planting!

References

Cufar, K., Grabner, M., Morgos, A., Castillo, E., Merela, M., & Luis, M. (2014). Common climatic signals affecting oak tree-ring growth in SE Central Europe. Trees, 28, 1267-1277.

Pilcher, J. R., & Gray, B. (1982, March). The Relationships between Oak Tree Growth and Climate in Britain. Journal of Ecology, 70(1), 297-304.

Willaume, M. (2006, March). How periodic growth pattern and source/sink relations affect root growth in oak tree seedlings. Journal of Experimental Botany, 57(4), 815-826.

How Long Does It Take An Oak Tree To Grow?

Depending on the species, Oak trees have different maturity levels and periods.

Some will reach 100 feet tall, while others will only reach 80 feet. Some will measure 80 feet wide, while others will measure 60 feet wide.

This predominantly depends on the species. However, before looking at the time it takes for an Oak tree to fully mature, we need to understand what we mean by an ordinary Oak tree.

An Oak tree is another hardwood tree species that is exceedingly strong and durable.

The hardwood properties of the Oak tree makes it an ultimate choice when it comes to furniture making, flooring, and veneer production.

Oak trees vary according to the location/continent they are found.

Africa’s oak trees are slightly different from the Unites States Oak trees. However, you need to understand that more than half of the 600 species available are native to North America.

The rate, level, and time of maturity depends upon many significant factors.

Tree species, climate, water, and soil nutrients play critical roles in determining the time it takes for a tree to mature fully.

In this article, we will look at the insights into understanding the average time it takes for an Oak tree to mature fully.

So, let us answer an important question that many homeowners ask.

What Is The Average Time It Takes An Oak Tree To Grow?

The average time for an Oak tree to fully grow, regardless of the species, is approximately 30-35 years.

By the 30th year, an ordinary Oak tree will assume a taller stature and a thicker diameter.

This, however, depends on the above four factors that we had earlier mentioned; species, climate, water, and soil nutrients.

Full maturity, however, can be reached after years of continued slow growth. A fully mature oak tree will have its canopy spread to about 45-50 feet.

1. The Rate Of Growth Depends On The Soil Conditions

Favorable Vs. Unfavorable Soil Conditions

Favorable soil conditions should include; good soil tilth, adequate, but not extreme, nutrient supply, minimum plant pathogens, and insect pests, ample soil drainage, and No chemical composition in the soil.

Unfavorable soil conditions that can alter the growth rate of Oak trees include; poorly graded, dry, and cohesion-less soils.

2. Rate Of Growth Depending On The Species

There are approximately 600 different species of Oak trees according to scientific research. All these species vary significantly.

This variation alters the rate at which the particular tree reaches its full maturity. Below are common Oak tree species and their maturity periods

  • Red Oak trees
  • White Oak trees

The Red Oak trees include black Oak, Willow Oak, Water Oak, Japanese evergreen Oak, and Pin Oak. The White Oak trees include Post Oak, Chinkapin, and Bur Oak.

What Are The Significant Differences Between A Red Oak Hardwood And White Oak Hardwood?

  1. Color – red Oak assumes a pinkish tint than White Oak. White oak hardwood tends to be lighter, browner, and more yellow.
  2. Graining – A red oak hardwood has a stronger graining than a white oak hardwood. However, White oak hardwood assumes a smoother appearance.
  3. Hardness – A white oak flooring is a bit harder than red Oak.

According to the Janka hardness scale, a White oak hardwood measures approximately 1350 degrees while a red oak measures around 1250 degrees.

You should note that red oak hardwoods are less hard and tend to show dents a bit less.

The White Oak tends to grow slow. This tree species will only stand between 10-15 feet tall and 20-25 feet wide after 10 or 12 years.

A mature White Oak reaches a height of 50-100 feet and 50-80 feet wide.

The full maturity happens after 30-40 years because it takes the tree a growth rate of 1-2 feet per year.

Growth Period

The Red Oak tends to grow a bit faster than the White Oak. Most Red Oak species will stand between 13-20 feet tall and 25-30 feet wide after 9 to 11 years.

A mature red Oak reaches a height of 60-80 feet and 60-70 feet wide.

The full maturity happens after 30 years because it takes the tree a growth rate of 2 feet per year.

How To Tell The Age And Growth Period Of An Oak Tree Without Cutting It

There are five simple ways you can use to say to the age of an Oak tree.

  • First, identify the exact species of Oak (red or white) in your yard.
  • Carefully measure the Oak’s trunk circumference.
  • Calculate the diameter of the Oak using the formula Where C is the circumference and π= 3.14
  • Determine the growth factor for your oak tree. The White and Red Oak’s growth factor is 5
  • Finally, you should multiply the Oak’s diameter (in inches) by the growth factor to get the approximate age of your oak tree.

An Oak Tree’s Life Cycle With Its Age

An Oak tree can live up to 1000 years if it does not face destruction/hazardous threats. As the tree grows older and older, it tends to produce more acorns.

However, at 700 years of age, the tree is considered old and will produce fewer to no acorns.

When the Oak tree inches closer to a thousand years, it will start to die slowly. During this period, some branches will dry, and the bark of the tree will become weak and fall out easily.

Conclusion

We cannot say that we know the exact time an Oak tree can be considered fully grown. This will primarily depend on the factors that have been mentioned above.

It is only an approximation of the Oak’s age that can be achieved with ease.

Quick Facts About Oak Trees:

  • Oak trees do best in sunny locations.
  • Oak trees do best in slightly acidic soils.
  • Most oak trees will not produce a good crop until they are around 50 years of age.
  • Over its entire lifespan (more than 500 years), an ordinary oak tree can produce as many as 9.5 million acorns.

Conditions for the successful cultivation of oak

Oak has a huge variety (up to 600) species. They are common in the temperate and tropical zones of the northern hemisphere, they even go to the north of South America. Many species are forest-forming species, others occur as an admixture. According to their requirements for growing conditions, they are very different from each other.

Among them there are both moisture-loving and drought-resistant, light-loving and shade-tolerant, enduring rather low temperatures and very thermophilic species. Oaks can be evergreen and deciduous, and their leaves are entire, serrated, more or less lobed.

Occasionally, oak grows in a bushy manner, some species are low trees, most species are mighty giants with a spherical crown, powerful trunks and a root system strongly developed both in depth and in width. Staminate or pistillate flowers are in different inflorescences. The fruit is an acorn surrounded by a cupule covered with scales on the outside. Oaks are propagated by acorns sown in autumn, as they quickly lose their germination capacity. For spring sowing, they must be stored at a temperature of 2-4 C. Oak can also be propagated by cuttings, but they have a low percentage of rooting. In the first year of life, the resulting taproot makes it difficult to transplant, therefore, to obtain a developed fibrous root system, it should be cut. At first, the oak grows slowly in height, after the 5th year the growth rate of the main shoot increases sharply.

This is one of the most durable breeds. Its bark, wood, acorns are used. The latter contain a large amount of starch, they are used to prepare a coffee substitute, alcohol or feed pigs. In some species of oak, acorns are sweet, edible fresh and roasted. Cork oak bark is used to make cork. The wood, bark, galls formed on the leaves, as well as the plush, contain a lot of tannins (tannins) used for tanning leather. Oak is indispensable in landscaping. It has long been the main tree along with linden in the creation of landscape parks; it is often found in manor parks in the temperate zone. It is planted in clearings with single-standing trees, creates groups, arrays, alleys, and is used in forest belts in the forest, forest-steppe and steppe zones.

Oak in garden landscape design

When we think of oak, we immediately imagine a thousand-year-old fairy-tale giant. It must be admitted that young oaks also have a solid growth ... If they are allowed. So, before settling an oak tree, let's think about what we want to see in 10-20 years. The slender oak can be a solitary lawn, but it is also possible to use its bushy form as a framing or hedge. Keep in mind that oak blooms late, so in spring you will see its openwork crown against the background of young foliage of other plants.

Planting an oak tree

The easiest way to grow an oak tree is from a mature acorn. Acorn, like many large seeds, germinates very easily. This is the most reliable way, and if you entrust this business to a child, then it is fascinating and useful. Just imagine how the child will run every day to check if the acorn has sprouted. And fantasize how he will tell his children and grandchildren that he once planted that huge oak tree himself ...

You can transplant a small oak tree from the forest or from the country street where he himself grew up. But keep in mind that even a very young oak tree has a very long root, it is difficult to dig it out entirely, especially from dense forest soil intertwined with many roots, or from a compacted roadside. The oak tree will not tolerate the slightest damage to the tap root.

Decorative molds are now also on sale. Among them there are species resistant to the main scourge - oak powdery mildew. There are also forms with an unusual color of foliage. By the way, do not get carried away with unusually colored species. Individual plants with red, golden or striped leaves look interesting against a green background. The garden, full of colorful foliage even in summer, looks at least unnatural. When laying out parks and estates, the old masters played subtly with various shades of green.

Care

Weeding and watering in the first years of life. Control and prevention of powdery mildew, especially in very young trees. This fungus does not affect the entire tree, but only affects the foliage. But the loss of foliage is dangerous for fragile plants.

Cutting and shaping

This is important. Without pruning, oak cannot be accommodated in the country house. For many trees and shrubs, I recommend starting molding as early as possible. Not so with oak. Strong pruning of a young oak turns it into an oak bush. If a hedge is not included in your plans - cut later, let the stem form. After that, you can try yourself in topiary art - to form a ball on a leg with a haircut, for example.

What is subtle? Shearing only growth throughout the crown promotes branching and thickening. This is a technique of topiary art. To maintain the natural shape of the crown, the branches must be cut "from the trunk." We remove part of the growth and entire branches. In this case, the crown turns out to be openwork and even lets in a certain amount of sunlight.

Red oak.

Red oak occupies one of the very first places in Russia in terms of popularity among other types of oak. This is not surprising: red oak is the most frost-resistant among its counterparts. Its frost resistance is 40 degrees, and if the root system is solid and the tap root is not cut, then the degree of its frost resistance increases. Despite the fact that oaks do not grow in the wild on the territory of the Tomsk region, there are specific examples of the fact that oak grows successfully in our country!

Red oak - a slender tree up to 25 m tall, with a dense tent-like crown. The trunk is covered with thin, smooth, gray bark, cracking in old trees. Young shoots are reddish-felt, annual shoots are red-brown, smooth. The leaves are deeply notched, thin, shiny, up to 15-20 cm, with 4-5 pointed lobes on each side of the leaf, reddish when blooming, dark green in summer, lighter below, in autumn, before falling off, scarlet-red in young trees, the old ones are brownish-brown.

Red oak blossoms at the same time as the leaves open. Acorns are spherical in shape, up to 2 cm, red-brown, as if chopped off from below, in contrast to English oak, ripen in the fall of the second year. It bears fruit steadily and abundantly from 15-20 years. When young, it grows faster than European oaks.

Conditions for successful oak cultivation are as follows:

- a good place to plant. Red oak loves dry and bright places with acidic soil (pH 5.5-7.5), so there is no need to pour ashes into the planting hole. It can not be planted where the soil is flooded in the spring, as well as where there is constant stagnation of water. Oak does not like stagnant water, so when landing at the bottom of the pit, it is imperative to pour drainage. And so that in a few years, when the earth in the planting pit settles, the root neck does not end up in a depression where water can accumulate in the spring, you need to plant an oak tree so that after the pit is finally filled with earth, the root neck of the seedling is on a small mound (the root neck is something where the roots meet the trunk). Over time, the mound will settle, and the root collar will be flush with the soil level. Oak is photophilous and prone to a disease called powdery mildew, so it must be planted in a bright, well-ventilated place;

- seedling health. So that the oak does not get sick with powdery mildew, it should be sprayed from time to time with an infusion of kombucha (1-2 cups of a monthly infusion per bucket of water) or shungite water, or a mixture of these solutions. But we must remember that this is a means of prevention, not control. When this fungal disease appears, it is already too late. In general, it is pointless to fight fungal diseases with the help of "chemistry", but prevention with the help of the above means gives excellent results;

- in no case should you fertilize plants with fresh manure! An excess of free nitrogen contained in manure forms loose tissues in all parts of the plant, the wood of such branches and trunks with loose tissues does not ripen by autumn, and in winter a plant fed with manure can freeze severely or even die. Also, manure-fed plants are attacked by pests and diseases, especially fungal diseases.

In red oak, unlike pedunculate, acorns ripen not in one season, but in two. And yet, an essential addition that needs to be mentioned for the successful cultivation of oak. Many plants (especially forest plants) grow very slowly without mycorrhiza on their roots. What is mycorrhiza? You probably know the different hat mushrooms that grow in the forest. So, these same mushrooms are already fruits, and the body of the mycelium itself is located in the upper layer of the soil, its hyphae (thin threads of the body of the fungus) spread horizontally for many meters, the roots of plants and forming mycorrhiza on their surface, mycorrhiza is a commonwealth of roots of different plants and fungi. Without this mutually beneficial community, some plants do not grow at all or grow very poorly, especially if they find themselves in unusual conditions. There are myceliums that specialize in some particular plants, and there are universal ones. For example, porcini mushroom grows under pine and oak, boletus under aspen, birch boletus under birch, fly agaric under different plants, common fungus is a very versatile mycorrhizal mushroom, if you manage to have it in your garden, then any plants will be happy with it, and grow and bear fruit very productively. How to infect oak roots with mycorrhiza? Find an old overgrown porcini mushroom or common oyster mushroom in the forest, bring them home, soak them for a day in a bucket of water (preferably rain or from some clean reservoir). After a day, pour this water into the holes made around the oak trunk, mulch the soil around the trunk with leaves from the forest, sow forest grasses or green manure in this place, and in no case ever loosen or dig the soil around the trees. In this case, the growth of the mycelium is disrupted, and it may die. This is the main secret of growing mycorrhizal fungi: they do not grow where the soil is loosened or dug up. When the mycelium grows (about three years later), the first mushrooms will appear. This will be a sign that you did everything right.

Red oak does not need shelter for the winter. It is prone to decay of the root neck, so you need to make sure that the root neck is ventilated and does not get wet from weeds (especially wood lice). In order to avoid root collar rot, spring melt water and ground water should not be allowed to be heated. If you have close-lying groundwater on your site, then you need to plant it on a mound and arrange drainage in the pit (fill in broken brick or expanded clay, pebbles with a layer of 15-20 cm).

Pedunculate oak (Q. robur)

One of the most important forest-forming species in Russia, widely distributed in nature from Western Europe to the Urals. In the north of the forest zone it grows along the valleys, to the south - in mixed forests with spruce, and further south it forms pure oak forests. In the forest-steppe and steppe zones, it grows along gullies and ravines, not reaching such a powerful development as in the forest zone. In urban plantations, oak can be found throughout the territory of natural distribution, with the exception, perhaps, of especially arid places. Not a single forest park, city park, old manor can do without it. The beginning of planting oak forests was laid by Peter I. The importance of oak in the national economy is great. It produces construction timber of very high quality. Beautiful and durable, it is used in carpentry, furniture, cooper production, in shipbuilding and car building, is used for the manufacture of parquet, and is also widely used for firewood.

Oak wood is light, with a beautiful pattern, after lying under water for a long time, it acquires a dark color (bog oak) and is especially valued in furniture production. Oak bark contains up to 20% tannins, wood - 6%. They are widely used for tanning leather. In a zone favorable for its growth, the oak reaches a height of 40 m, the trunk diameter exceeds 1 m. The largest old specimens live up to 1000-1500 years, while having a trunk diameter of 4 m. strong branches. Mature trees have thick, deeply fissured, grey-brown bark. Young shoots are olive-brown, then red-brown. Leaves up to 15 cm long and 7 cm wide, oblong-obovate, with ears at the base, with 6-7 obtuse, long lobes, the depressions between them reach a third of the width of the plate.

Leaves are shiny, glabrous, green above, lighter below. In the spring, in May, when the leaves begin to bloom, stamen catkins become visible at the base of the shoots. Pistillate flowers sit in the axils of the leaves on long peduncles of 2-5 pieces. Acorns are oval, 3.5 cm long and 2 cm in diameter with a spike at the top, brown-yellow, shiny, on the stalk, which is why this species is called petiolate. The plush is shallow, cup-shaped, 1 cm tall, the scales covering it are gray-pubescent. Acorns ripen in October. Oak grows best on degraded chernozems and gray forest loams, with sufficient moisture. It is demanding on mineral and organic nutrition, protection from wind and direct sunlight, especially at an early age, but it is drought and salt tolerant.

The majestic stocky giant of the forest oak is beautiful at any time of the year. In spring, it pleases with its light yellowish-green foliage and long graceful yellow inflorescences-earrings; in summer, he appears as a mighty giant with a dense dark crown, and so dense that it is able to protect both from the scorching sun and from heavy rain. In autumn, the oak appears in a new guise. Its foliage turns yellow, and then acquires a dark brown color. It falls much later than other trees. In winter, an oak, even in a leafless state, is able to charm with its power, when its deeply furrowed thick trunks loom against the background of fallen snow, and the branches and branches intertwined in a bizarre graphic pattern resemble the fabulous Berendey's kingdom.

In our nursery you can buy oak seedlings wholesale and retail.

Oak is a symbol of power and longevity. Cultivation, reproduction. Diseases and pests. Oak bark application, decoction. Kinds. Photo - Botanichka

There are several interesting facts about oak: At the Paris exhibition in 1900, an oak ridge sawn from a 485-year-old oak 31 m high and 169 cm in diameter was shown. that is, on the territory of the modern Shumerlinsky forestry enterprise of the Chuvash Republic.

And in 1861, in the Yadrinsky district of the Kazan province, an oak “50 feet long” (that is, 15 m high) and “48 inches in the upper cut” (213 cm in diameter) was cut down. This tree was counted 500 years old, at that time it was completely fresh, healthy and still growing in volume . ..

Oak was a sacred tree of many peoples, including the ancient Slavs and Celts, it was worshiped as a deity. Even today it remains a symbol of courage and resilience, and not just, so to speak, “impenetrability” ... By the way, to see an oak strewn with acorns in a dream - to well-being and career growth.

Pedunculate oak (summer, English, common) (Quercus robur). © Leafland

Botanical description

Oak ( Quercus ) is a genus of deciduous or evergreen trees of the beech family. The leaves are alternate, simple, pinnatipartite, lobed, serrated, sometimes entire. Oak flowers are small, inconspicuous, same-sex, monoecious; staminate - in long hanging catkins, pistillate - single or several, sessile or on a pedicel. The fruit is a single-seeded acorn, partially enclosed in a cup-shaped woody cupule.

Oak grows slowly, at first (up to 80 years) - stronger in height, later - in thickness. Usually forms a deep tap root system. Gives abundant shoots from the stump. Photophilous. Some types of oak are drought-resistant, quite winter-hardy and not very demanding on soils. It begins to bear fruit at the age of 15-60, in open places earlier than in plantations. It reproduces mainly by acorns. For sowing, acorns collected in the same year are used, because. they quickly lose their viability. There are about 450 species of oak in the temperate, subtropical and tropical zones of the Northern Hemisphere. In Russia - 20 (according to other sources, 11) wild species in the European part, the Far East and the Caucasus; 43 species of oaks are grown in culture.

Most important in forestry is English oak , or summer ( Quercus robur ), - a tree up to 40-50 m high and 1-1.5 m in diameter. The leaves are elongated obovate, with 5-7 pairs of short lobes , on petioles up to 1 cm long. Acorns 1-3 on the stalk. Blossoms simultaneously with the blooming of leaves from 40-60 years. Fruits abundantly every 4-8 years. Grows fairly quickly in side shade, but requires good light from above. Lives up to 400-1000 years. Distributed in the European part of Russia, in the Caucasus and almost throughout Western Europe. In the northern part of the range it grows along river valleys, to the south it goes to watersheds and forms mixed forests with spruce, and in the south of the range - pure oak forests; in the steppe zone it occurs along ravines and gullies. One of the main forest-forming species of broad-leaved forests in Russia.

Close to English Oak Rock Oak , or winter ( Q. petraea ), with almost sessile (2-3 each) acorns, found in the west of the European part of Russia, in the Crimea and the North Caucasus. Georgian Oak ( Q. iberica ) grows in the eastern part of the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia with leathery leaves and sessile (1-2) acorns; Large anthered oak ( Quercus macranthera ) with densely pubescent shoots and sessile acorns or on a short stalk. The main species of the valley forests of Eastern Transcaucasia is Long-legged oak ( Q. longipes ). An important forest-forming species of the Far East - Mongolian Oak ( Q. mongolica ) - frost-resistant and drought-resistant tree.

Oak wood has high strength, hardness, durability and a beautiful texture (cut pattern). It is used in shipbuilding, for underwater structures, because. does not rot; used in car building, in furniture, carpentry, cooperage, house building, etc. Some types of bark ( Cork oak - Q. suber) gives a cork. The bark and wood contain tannins (tannins) used for tanning hides. The dried bark of young branches and thin trunks of English oak is used as an astringent in the form of an aqueous decoction for rinsing in case of inflammatory processes in the oral cavity, pharynx, pharynx, as well as for lotions in the treatment of burns. Acorns are used as a substitute for coffee and as food for pigs and some other agricultural products. animals. Many species, such as Chestnut oak (Q. castaneifolia), are cultivated in gardens and parks as ornamental plants.

Growing oak

Oak acorns, unlike the seeds of the vast majority of our other trees, do not remain viable when dried and stored for a long time at room temperature. Therefore, it is necessary either to sow them in the fall before the snow falls and the soil freezes, or to provide them with special storage conditions. Autumn sowing is the easiest, but there is a serious risk of damage to some of the acorns by rodents.

For spring sowing oak acorns must be properly preserved. The best storage conditions are at low (about 0° or slightly above) temperature, high humidity and moderate ventilation. Acorns can be stored in the basement, where potatoes are well preserved in winter; you can also dig them into the soil in the fall to a depth of at least 20 cm, covering the top with a sheet of waterproof material, leaving a layer of air between this sheet and acorns and providing protection from mice. In any case, healthy acorns without external damage should be stored for winter storage, preferably collected in dry weather and dried at room temperature for a week. Any special preparation of seeds that have survived the winter is not required before sowing.

Before sowing, evaluate the quality of the acorns by opening a few of them. Live oak acorns have yellow cotyledons, and at the place of their connection with each other there is a live (yellow or red-yellow) embryo. Dead acorns are black or grey. By external signs, it is not always possible to distinguish living acorns from dead ones. Soaking acorns in a container of water gives good results - dead acorns mostly float, live ones mostly sink (if there are a lot of acorns, then this method of separating the dead from the living is quite recommended, but a small part of the live acorns will be lost).

If you have not been able to stock up on acorns since autumn, then in some years (after a large harvest of acorns and under the condition of a "failure" of mice, and if the winter was not very frosty) you can collect live and germinating acorns in the spring in the nearest forest or park. It is necessary to collect germinating acorns in early spring, almost immediately after the snow melts, otherwise you will find damaged roots in many acorns. Collected oak acorns must either be sown immediately or stored until sowing in such a way that the roots do not dry out (for example, mixed with wet leaves in a plastic box put in a refrigerator or a cold basement). Even with short-term storage, it is necessary to ensure that germinating acorns do not become moldy (throw away damaged ones immediately), and ensure their ventilation. The faster you can sow the acorns collected in the spring, the more of them will be able to develop into seedlings.

Oak acorns. © TwidOak sprouted acorn. © Beentree

Sowing acorns

When sowing acorns, mark out parallel furrows 15–25 cm apart in the bed. Arrange the acorns in the furrows at the rate of 15-50 pieces. per 1 m of the length of the furrow, depending on the quality and size (if the acorns are large and almost all live, then they should be laid out less often, if small and with a large proportion of dead and doubtful - thicker). If you plan to plant annual oak seedlings in a permanent place, then acorns should be sown even less often - at a distance of 7-10 cm from each other (this will ensure the maximum growth of each tree). Press the acorns into the bottom of the furrow so that they are at a depth of 2–3 cm from the soil surface in spring planting and 3–6 cm in autumn. After that, level the furrow by covering the acorns with earth.

Acorns germinate for a very long time. First, they develop a powerful root, reaching a length of several tens of centimeters, and only after that the stem begins to grow. Therefore, oak sprouts can appear on the soil surface only a month and a half after the start of germination. Do not rush to conclude that your oak trees have died and dig up a bed with crops (as the experience of novice amateur foresters shows, this happens). If in doubt, try digging up some acorns. If their roots have grown, then the acorns are alive.

Care of oak seedlings

Oak seedlings suffer much less from weeds and drying out of the soil than coniferous trees (due to the supply of nutrients in the acorn, large roots and leaves immediately develop). However, try to always keep crops free of weeds and ensure watering during severe drought, especially if you want to get large seedlings in one year. Stop any additional watering about a month and a half before the time when mass leaf fall begins in your area - this will allow oak seedlings to better prepare for wintering (too late growths in oak often freeze out in winter).

In summer, oak seedlings are often affected by powdery mildew, a fungal disease. Powdery mildew is not able to kill oak seedlings, but can significantly reduce their growth. With a strong development of powdery mildew (if white bloom covers more than half of the area of ​​​​all leaves), seedlings can be treated with a 1% solution of copper sulfate or a 1% suspension of sulfur. Oak seedlings can be grown for two years in one place without a transplant, or they can be transplanted in the second year into a "school". The second method is preferable, because it allows you to form a more compact and branched root system, which suffers less when transplanted to a permanent place (for two-year-old seedlings grown without transplantation, the length of the main root can be more than a meter, and it is almost impossible to transplant them without damaging the root).

Oak seedlings should be transplanted into the “school” in spring, preferably as early as possible, so that the root system damaged during transplantation has time to partially recover even before the leaves bloom (it is also important that the soil is still moist during transplantation). When transplanting, cut off the main root of each oak seedling at a distance of 15-20 cm from where the acorn was located (in most seedlings, the remains of an acorn in the second year are still visible). This will form a more compact root system. It is possible not to cut the main root, but in this case it will be very difficult to dig up two-year-old seedlings without serious damage to their root system.

Oak seedlings. © Elektryczne jabłko

Place rows of seedlings at a distance of 25–30 cm from each other in the “school”, and seedlings in a row at a distance of 12–15 cm. When planting under each oak seedling, make holes 20–25 cm deep with a stake or spade handle ( the depth of the hole should be such that when the seedling is planted, the place of attachment of the acorn is 2-3 cm below the soil surface). Insert the seedlings into the holes (the main root of oak seedlings, unlike the root of conifers, is hard and straight and inserted into the holes without problems). Then fill the holes with earth and compact it with your hands so that the earth fits snugly against the roots of the seedlings.

Transplanted oak seedlings in the first weeks after transplantation suffer greatly from root damage - leafing is rather slow, and shoot growth is relatively small. Nevertheless, by mid-summer, the normal development of seedlings is restored, and by autumn, as a rule, large seedlings (30–50 cm high) are quite suitable for planting in a permanent place. If the size of the seedlings by autumn leaves much to be desired, then only the largest ones can be selected for transplantation, and the rest left in the "school" for another year.

If you are transplanting annual oak seedlings to a permanent place (this is quite possible if planting is done in areas with low grass cover or plowed soil), then do not cut the main roots of the seedlings - try to keep as much of their length as possible. The root system of an annual oak seedling is represented mainly by a long and straight taproot with weak and short lateral roots, therefore, for transplanting, it is enough to make a narrow hole of the appropriate depth using a stake or a shovel handle.

Types of oak

Common oak (summer, English, or common) - Quercus robur

Occurs naturally in the European part of Russia, Central and Western Europe. A very powerful tree up to 50 m tall, in closed plantations with a slender trunk, highly debranched, in single plantings in open places - with a short trunk and a wide, spreading, low-set crown. Lives 500-900 years.

English oak (Quercus robur). © 2micha

The bark on trunks up to 40 years old is smooth, olive-brown, later grayish-brown, almost black. The leaves are alternate, at the top of the shoots close together in bunches, leathery, oblong, obovate, up to 15 cm long, with an elongated top and 3-7 pairs of obtuse, lateral lobes of unequal length. Lobes entire or with 1-3 teeth, often with auricles at the base of the leaf blade. The leaves are shiny, bare, dark green above, lighter below, sometimes with sparse hairs. In spring, the oak blossoms late, one of the last among our trees. Oak blossoms in April-May, when it still has very small leaves. The flowers are unisexual, monoecious, very small and inconspicuous. Male or staminate flowers are collected in peculiar inflorescences - long and thin, yellowish-greenish drooping catkins, reminiscent of hazel catkins. Acorns up to 3.5 cm, 1/5 covered with a cupule, ripen in early autumn.

Grows slowly, the greatest energy of growth in 5-20 years. Moderately photophilous, wind-resistant due to powerful root system. Excessive waterlogging of the soil does not tolerate, but withstands temporary flooding for up to 20 days. It prefers deep, fertile, fresh soils, but is able to develop on any, including dry and saline ones, which makes it indispensable in green building in many regions of Russia. It has high drought and heat resistance. One of the most durable breeds, some sources indicate a life expectancy of up to 1500 years.

Possesses powerful energy. Oak in Russia was considered a sacred tree. In the springs located in the oak forests, the water has an excellent taste and is particularly clean.

Propagated by sowing acorns, decorative forms - by grafting and green cuttings. It is well renewed by shoots from a stump. Acorns do not tolerate desiccation, as soon as they lose even a small part of the water, they die. In heat, they easily rot, they are very sensitive to cold and frost. This circumstance presents a certain difficulty for preserving acorns for seeds. In nature, there is no such problem: acorns that have fallen in late autumn in the forest overwinter in a wet bed of leaves under a thick layer of snow that protects them both from drying out and from frost. The germination of an acorn resembles the germination of a pea: its cotyledons do not rise above the soil surface, as in many plants, but remain in the ground. A thin green stem rises up. At first it is leafless, and only after some time small leaves appear on its top.

Red oak (Quercus rubra)

Occurs naturally along river banks, where there is no stagnant water in the soil, north of the 35th parallel of the North American continent, up to Canada. Tree up to 25 m in height.

A slender tree with a dense hipped crown.

Red oak (Quercus rubra). © Jean-Pol GRANDMONT

The trunk is covered with thin, smooth, gray bark, cracking in old trees. Young shoots are reddish-felt, annual shoots are red-brown, smooth. The leaves are deeply notched, thin, shiny, up to 15-25 cm, with 4-5 pointed lobes on each side of the leaf, reddish when blooming, dark green in summer, lighter below, in autumn, before falling off, scarlet-red in young trees , in old ones - brownish-brown. Blooms at the same time as the leaves open. Acorns are spherical in shape, up to 2 cm, red-brown, as if chopped off from below, unlike English oak, they ripen in the fall of the second year. It bears fruit steadily and abundantly from 15-20 years. When young, it grows faster than European oaks.

Frost resistant. Medium light-loving, easily tolerates lateral shading, but prefers full coverage of the top of the crown. Not drought tolerant. Wind-resistant, not very picky about soil fertility, can withstand even an acidic reaction, however, does not tolerate calcareous and wet soils. Resistant to pests and diseases, including powdery mildew - the scourge of our oaks. It has high phytoncidal properties. Due to its high decorativeness, resistance to adverse environmental factors, magnificent autumn decoration, it deserves the widest use in green building, for creating single and group plantings, alleys, arrays, lining roads and streets.

Downy oak (Quercus pubescens)

Naturally found in the southern Crimea, the northern part of Transcaucasia, Southern Europe and Asia Minor. Tree up to 10 m tall. Durable.

Downy oak (Quercus pubescens). © Petr Filippov

Significantly inferior in size to the previous species, with a low, winding trunk and a wide crown, sometimes even a shrub. Young shoots are strongly pubescent. Leaves 5-10 cm long, very variable in shape and size, with 4-8 pairs of obtuse or pointed lobes, dark green, glabrous above, grey-green below, pubescent. The scales of the plush surrounding the acorn are also fluffy.

It grows slowly, loves light and heat, lives on dry stony slopes and soils containing lime. Handles haircut well. Valuable species for green building in arid areas, grows on stony soils where other species do not develop. An excellent material for high hedges and figured, sheared forms.

White Oak (Quercus alba)

Native to eastern North America. Grows in forests with other types of oak and hazel, on various soils, but better on deep, rich, well-drained, limestone; in the north of the range it is distributed no higher than 200 m above sea level. sea, in the south up to 1500 m a.s.l. seas.

White oak (Quercus alba). © Msact

Large beautiful tree up to 30 m, with powerful spreading branches forming a wide, tent-shaped crown. The shoots are bare, the bark of the trunk is gray, shallowly cracking. Remarkable for very large, oblong-oval leaves, up to 22 cm, with 5-9 obtuse lobes; when blooming - bright red, in summer - bright green, with a whitish-gray underside. In autumn, the leaves turn dark red or purple-purple. Acorns up to 2.5 cm, a quarter covered with a plush. Seeds are stored for spring sowing in semi-moist sand. In autumn, sown immediately after harvest and air drying. Germination of seeds is maintained until the spring of next year. Ground germination 80 - 85%. Embedding depth s. 5 - 6 cm.

Marsh oak (Quercus palustris)

Homeland North America.

A slender tree up to 25 m tall, narrowly pyramidal when young, later broadly pyramidal. Young shoots are thin, hanging, reddish-brown. The bark of the trunk is greenish-brown, and remains smooth for a long time. Leaves up to 12 cm long, with 5-7 deeply cut, almost to the middle of the leaf, toothed lobes, bright green above, lighter below, with tufts of hairs in the corners of the veins. In autumn they are bright purple. Acorns sessile, almost spherical, up to 1.5 cm, 1/3 covered by a cupule. Seeds are stored for spring sowing in semi-moist sand. Autumn with. sown after harvest and air drying. Germination of seeds is maintained until the spring of next year. Ground germination with. 80 - 90%. Embedding depth s. 5 - 6 cm.

Swamp oak (Quercus palustris). © Willow

Fast growing, less hardy than red oak and northern oak. It is more demanding on the soil and its moisture, as it grows in nature on deep, moist soils on the banks of rivers and swamps. It tolerates city conditions well. Looks great in single, group and avenue plantings, along the banks of reservoirs. In culture since the middle of the XVIII century. Grows in the parks of Ukraine (Chernivtsi), Belarus, Voronezh region. It freezes in St. Petersburg.

Willow oak (Quercus phellos)

Wildly grows in eastern North America.

A beautiful deciduous tree up to 20 m tall, with a slender trunk and a wide-round (pyramidal in youth) crown. Remarkable original shiny green leaves resembling willow leaves (up to 12 cm long by 2 cm wide). This similarity is even more enhanced in young leaves, strongly pubescent below. In autumn, the leaves turn dull yellow.

Willow oak (Quercus phellos). © Daderot

Differs in rapid growth, photophilous, unpretentious to the soil, tolerates temperature drops down to -23 ºС. Used in single and group plantings. In culture since 1680.

Holm oak (Quercus ilex)

Homeland Mediterranean, Southern Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor.

Evergreen tree up to 25 m tall, with a smooth dark gray trunk and a dense, wide spreading crown. The shoots are grayish-felt, the leaves are small, up to 8 cm, highly variable in shape, leathery, shiny, dark green, yellowish or whitish-pubescent below. Acorns ripen in the second year.

We recommend storing freshly harvested acorns in trenches. Permissible period of dry storage - until the next spring. Acorns are stratified in moderately moist sand for 2-3 months at 2-5°C, then sown in greenhouses or ridges, where they germinate at 0-15°C for 20-30 days. Embedding depth s. 4 - 7 cm.

Holm oak (Quercus ilex). © propio

Grows fast, fairly shade tolerant, hardy, tolerates temperatures down to -20°C without damage. Drought tolerant. Grows on dry rocky slopes and any type of soil. It tolerates a haircut, durable. Valuable, beautiful breed for park construction in the south of Russia. Good in group, avenue and street plantings, in regular gardens - to create dense high hedges and high walls, for which its small-leaved forms are suitable. In culture since 1819of the year.

Chestnut oak (Quercus castaneifolia)

It grows wild in Armenia, the Caucasus and northern Iran. Listed in the Red Book of the USSR. Protected in the Hyrkansky Reserve. Forms pure or with an admixture of other deciduous forests on the crests of ridges. Light-loving mesoxerophyte.

Tall, up to 30 m, a beautiful tree with a slender trunk, the bark of which remains smooth for a long time, with a wide tent-shaped crown and large leaves, resembling the leaves of a sowing chestnut, up to 18 cm long, with large, sharp, triangular teeth. From above, the leaves are dull, dark green, almost bare; finely pubescent below, greyish-white. Acorns up to 3 cm, 1/3 covered with a plush.

Chestnut oak (Quercus castaneifolia). © Mmparedes

Relatively fast growing, medium frost hardy, not drought tolerant enough. Good in alley, group and single plantings of parks and forest parks. Suitable for cultivation in the southwestern and southern parts of Russia, on the Black Sea coast. In culture since 1830.

Large-fruited oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

North American species, growing as a tree up to 30 m high, with a thick trunk and spreading, tent-shaped crown. The bark on the trunk is light brown, cracking. Leaves obovate, oblong, up to 25 cm long, deeply lobed; shiny, dark green above, whitish-green below, pubescent, in autumn they acquire a spectacular yellow-brown color. Acorns are oval, large, up to 5 cm, 1/3 covered by a cupule.

Seeds are stored for spring sowing in semi-moist sand in the basement. In autumn, the seeds are sown after harvesting and air drying. Germination of seeds is maintained until the spring of next year. Ground germination 80 - 85%. Seeding depth 5-6 cm.

Large-fruited oak (Quercus macrocarpa). © Daderot

Almost as fast as English oak; in terms of frost resistance, it is close to it and to red oak, but more moisture-loving than these species. Decorative, used in green building, like other species. In culture since 1826.

Diseases and pests of oak

Diseases of plant wood are the most dangerous. Infectious diseases that affect wood are divided into two groups. Non-rotten diseases include cancerous ulcers and tumors, vascular diseases of trunks and branches, necrosis of bark and sapwood. Diseases of this group affect the most important tissues of trunks and branches and, if strongly developed, lead to the drying out of trees. Cancer ulcers and tumors develop and spread slowly and are usually caused by fungi and bacteria. Vascular disease develops and spreads quickly and can lead to the drying up of trees in a few years or months. Necrosis of trunks and branches can also form extensive foci of desiccation. Their distribution is ensured by the ability of pathogens to accumulate a huge amount of infection in the dead tissues of affected trees. The causative agents of necrosis are also semi-parasitic imperfect and marsupial fungi, sometimes bacteria. Rot diseases include wood rot of branches and trunks, root and butt rot.

Gall midge

By autumn, yellowish or yellowish-pink balls - galls - the size of a small cherry, often develop on oak leaves. They look like tiny apples of the correct spherical shape.

Galls - painful growth of leaf tissues. The gall midge insect, which looks like a very small fly, is to blame for their appearance. The gall midge pierces the skin of the leaf with a thin, sharp ovipositor and lays an egg there. Some time after that, a "ball" grows on the sheet. If such a ball is broken in late autumn, in the middle of it you can find a small white worm - a gall midge larva - or an already adult insect. In some years, oak leaves are literally dotted with galls - there are several of them on each leaf.

Gall on an oak leaf. © Fritz Geller-GrimmGall on oak. © RasbakGall on oak. © Saharadesertfox

Gauls are sometimes called ink nuts. This name is not accidental. Our ancestors at the time of Pushkin used them to make black ink. How to get ink in this way? It is necessary to prepare a decoction of nuts and add a solution of iron sulfate to it. Merging two weakly colored liquids, we get a completely black liquid. This chemical "focus" is easily explained. The gall contains many tannins, and they have the ability, when combined with iron salts, to give a thick black color. The same can be done with tea infusion (it also contains a lot of tannins). If a few drops of a yellowish solution of ferric chloride are added to a glass of weak tea, the liquid becomes completely black.

Pests of oak

Leaf-eating and stem pests, and fungal diseases are the most important factors that increase the drying of oak stands. Violation of the ecological balance of oak forest phytocenoses, especially in oak forest monocultures, leads to violations of the water regime of the territories, changes in light and temperature conditions in the plantation, and all together - to the formation of conditions more favorable for the development of pests and diseases.

Oak is damaged by a huge number of pests and diseases. Different authors give different figures on the number of pests and diseases that damage the oak. In the Tellerman forest area, 184 species of leaf pests were identified (Molchanov, 1975). Among the most common pests that damage the foliage, we should name: 5 types of silkworms, 5 types of cutworms, 6 types of moths, 8 types of moths, 8 types of sawflies, 2 types of leafworms, 11 types of gall wasps, 2 types of psyllids, 5 types of weevils, 2 types of Hermes, 2 species of aphids and 3 species of plant mites. Buds and flowers damage 12 species of gall wasps. Acorns are damaged by 2 species of codling moths, 3 species of weevils and 1 species of nutcracker. The trunk and branches damage 8 species of bark beetles, 7 species of longhorn beetles, 3 species of horntails, 2 species of woodworms, 1 species of flat-footed beetle, 3 species of borers, 1 species from the family of whetstones, 1 species of wood borers (Napalkov, 1953).

Sawfly caterpillars on oak leaves. © Beentree

In Europe, 542 species of pests damaging oak have been identified (Hrast Luznjak…, 1996). In total, 206 species of fungi were found, including zygomycetes - 3 species, mastigomycetes - 2 species, ascomycetes - 50 species, basidiomycetes - 43 species, deuteromycetes - 108 species. 1 virus was found - tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), 14 species of bacteria (Erwinia quercicola Geprges et Bad., Erwinia valachika Geprges et Bad., Pseudomonas quercus Schem, etc.). However, the influence of viruses and bacteria as causes of oak drying has not been clearly established (Ragazzi et al., 1995).

Healing power of oak

Young bark of branches and trunks, leaves and acorns of oak are used for treatment. The bark contains acids, resins, pectin, sugar. In acorns - protein and tannins, starch, fatty oil, sugar. The leaves contain tannins and dyes, pentosans.

Oak bark is used as an astringent, anti-inflammatory and wound healing agent. Mixed with other plants, it is used to treat gastritis, colitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, diseases of the liver and spleen. Inside give a cold infusion (1 teaspoon of crushed bark is infused in 2 glasses of cold water for 6-8 hours), 2-3 tablespoons 3-4 times a day.

A decoction of oak bark (1:10) is used for pharyngitis, tonsillitis, skin diseases, stomatitis. For the treatment of burns, a stronger decoction of the bark (1: 5) is used. For skin diseases, an ointment is also used - one part of the condensed decoction of the bark to four parts of lanolin.

A warm infusion of crushed oak acorns in red wine (25% tincture) in the form of compresses is used to treat hernia, and folk healers recommend water decoctions for burns, skin rashes, and excessive sweating of the feet. In addition, a nutritious coffee drink is prepared from acorns, which is consumed with milk and sugar.

For gastric bleeding, intestinal inflammation, poisoning with heavy metals, alkaloids, mushrooms, henbane, dope, food poisoning, a decoction of oak bark is used. For this purpose, 20 g of dry crushed raw materials are poured into 1 cup of hot water, boiled for half an hour, then filtered and the liquid volume is brought to the original boiled water. Take 2 tablespoons 3-4 times a day.

Infusion of oak acorns helps with diarrhea and enterocolitis. It is prepared as follows: 1 teaspoon of dry crushed raw materials is poured into 1 cup of boiling water and filtered after cooling. Take 1/2 cup 2-3 times a day.

For gargling with chronic tonsillitis, pharyngitis, inflammation of the gums and stomatitis, a decoction of oak bark is used. For urethritis and cystitis, a decoction of oak bark is taken 2 tablespoons 3-4 times a day. For the same purpose, an infusion of acorns is used in a similar dosage.


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