How to grow a live oak tree from an acorn
How to Plant an Acorn and Grow an Oak Tree
From collecting acorns to transplanting the sapling
Nadia Hassani is a gardening expert with nearly 20 years of experience in landscaping, garden design, and vegetable and fruit gardening. She became a Penn State Master Gardener in 2006 and is a regular contributor to Penn State Master Gardener publications. She gives gardening talks about growing specialty produce for ethnic cuisines, authors two gardening and growing blogs, and created the taxonomy for the plant encyclopedia for Better Homes & Gardens.
Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process
Updated on 10/11/22
Mary Marlowe Leverette
Reviewed by Mary Marlowe Leverette
Mary Marlowe Leverette is one of the industry's most highly-regarded housekeeping and fabric care experts, sharing her knowledge on efficient housekeeping, laundry, and textile conservation. She is also a Master Gardener with over 40 years' experience; writing for over 20 years.
Learn more about The Spruce's Review Board
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
In This Article
When and How to Collect Acorns
How to Plant an Acorn
If your yard is littered with acorns, you might want to capture a few and sprout an oak tree from seed. Oak trees are not only stunning, but are drought-tolerant native trees that boasts many benefits for the tree's environment and surrounding wildlife. If you have the space, planting a native oak tree in your yard is one of the best things you can do for wildlife. Growing an oak from acorns collected nearby lets you know the tree is well-adapted to local growing conditions, meaning it will likely thrive after being planted as a sapling.
Though it may seem intimidating, it is possible to grow a new tree from an acorn. Read on to discover the best methods for collecting acorns and how to grow a sapling from seed.
Starting an oak from an acorn should be done outdoors, either in a seedbed or pot. Pots give you better control over the growing process making it easier to protect the acorns and young seedlings from critters.
When and How to Collect Acorns
When you are on the lookout for acorns, keep in mind that acorn production varies by oak species and depends on the weather, nutrient availability, and insects feeding on acorns. While most oak species produce an acorn crop every two or three years, white oaks (Quercus alba) produce a an acorn crop only every four to six years.
The acorns of some acorn species—white oak, live oak (Quercus virginiana), swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor), and bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)—mature in one year, while for other oaks—red oak (Quercus rubra) and pin oak (Quercus palustris)—it takes two years.
Only collect acorns that have fallen from the tree; these acorns are mature. Skip the first ones that drop, as they are often of poor quality. Collect them once the tree drops a lot of acorns and do it promptly because acorns dry out quickly and become inviable. Remember, you're competing with squirrels, deer, and other wildlife; if you wait too long, there might not be many acorns left.
Collect at least twice as many acorns as the number of seedlings you want because not all of them will germinate. Discard acorns that still have the caps attached, that have holes or are otherwise damaged, or show signs of mold or rot.
Plant the acorns right away; if that’s not possible, you can store them for a few days. Spray them with water to prevent them from drying out and place them in a ventilated plastic bag. Store the bag in a cool place and keep the acorns moist but not wet.
Use standard commercial potting mix based on peat moss (it’s sterile and free of pathogens). Although the oaks will eventually be planted in garden soil, potting mix is the safest way to start healthy seedlings.
All acorns should be planted in the fall as soon as possible after collection. White oak and swamp oak will germinate soon after planting. For bur oak, pin oak, and red oak, you won’t see germination until the next spring because these oak species need stratification, which is provided by leaving the pots outdoors during the winter.
Equipment / Tools
- Small trowel
- Soilless potting mix
- Small pots or seedling pots
- Protective hardware cloth or mesh
- Mesh tree guard
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
How to Plant an Acorn and Grow an Oak Tree
Select Viable Acorns
Fill a bowl with cold water and place the acorns in it. Viable acorns will sink or remain at the bottom and damaged or empty ones will float. Discard the floating acorns. Briefly soaking the acorns also helps rehydrate them if you stored them before planting.
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
Plant the Acorns
To plant the acorns, use pots deep enough for root growth. 2.5 x. 2.5 x 3.5-inch pots are ideal. Fill the pots with potting mix. Place two acorns sideways in each pot, at a depth about three times the width of the acorn, or about one inch. Water them well until water runs out of the drainage holes.
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
Keep Soil Moist
Keep the soil moist until the onset of winter weather. (During winter, you can leave them be. In the spring, restart watering them.) Keep the seedlings weed-free. Both the acorns and young seedlings need to be protected from pests. After planting the acorns, cover the pots with a screen or hardware cloth. Once the seedlings emerge, lift up the protection as needed to give the seedlings room to grow.
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
Thin the Seedlings
Regardless of when the acorns germinate—in fall or spring—if both acorns in a pot germinate, cut off the weaker of the two seedlings about one to two weeks after the seedling emerges. Do not pull out the second, unwanted seedling because its root system will be entangled with the roots of the stronger oak.
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
Transplant into Larger Pots
When the seedlings are about five to six inches tall, or when the root system starts to reach the side of the container, transplant the seedlings to two-quart nursery pots with large drain holes. Fill the pots with a mixture of half potting soil and half garden soil and add one teaspoon of slow-release fertilizer to the soil.
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
Relocate to Permanent Spot
Once the root system is growing out of the drain holes, it’s time to plant the saplings in their permanent location. Dig a hole about three times the diameter of the container and the same depth. Add organic matter if needed to improve drainage. Water the saplings and spread a thick layer of mulch in a two-foot perimeter around the base but leave at least a two-inch space between the mulch and the tree trunk. Tender oak saplings are a favorite food for browsing deer and other wildlife. Make sure to protect the tree with a mesh tree guard for at least three years.
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
How to Identify Oak Trees Using Acorns. Mississippi State University Extension
Managing Harwood Stands for Acorn Production. Mississippi State University Extension
Growing Oak Trees from Seed. Oklahoma State University Extension
Live Oaks From Seed | HortUpdate - Nov/Dec 2010
by Austin Stockton and David L. Morgan
Formerly with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A&M University Research & Extension Center, Dallas, TX
Texas Live Oak at the Alamo
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Live oaks have been grown commercially in Texas since the early 1900's. They are excellent landscape trees that contribute to property values in all parts of the state. Many Texas live oaks are surrounded by historical circumstances and are held in high esteem. There are several Texas species commonly known as "live oak", each of which is native to a particular area of the state, yet only two are commonly grown commercially (Quercus virginiana, native to East Texas and along the Gulf Coast, and Q. fusiformis, Edwards Plateau, Rio Grande Plains, Blackland and Grand Prairies, West Cross Timbers to the Red River).
Propagators could benefit by selecting acorns from the most desirable trees native to that particular area of the state. Characteristics worth noting when choosing a mature tree as a seed source are desirability of leaf color and shape, drought tolerancae, absence of galls, trunk form, vigor and umbrella-shaped canopies. Growers should understand, however, that oaks are wind pollinated. The undetermined pollen source in the formation of the acorn may dilute the desirable characteristics sought. Trees standing side by side in the nursery row may exhibit separate, distinct characteristics and variations, despite having been selected as acorns from the same "mother tree."
Acorns are collected in the autumn months, from October to December. It is not uncommon for acorns to geminate while on the trees. Ripe acorns can be picked before they fall; often it is wise to do so in order to escape weevils (Curculio spp.) which attack those that fall to the ground. Acorns that are brown in color are physiologically mature; those which are yellowish are not ripe. As a rule of thumb, a mature acorn will snap cleanly from its cup without leaving a tiesue residue.
Discard acorns that float in water along with those that show pin-sized weevil exit holes. Live oak seeds frequently contain weevil larvae that prevent germination. Larvae in sound acorns ("sinkers") can be killed by immersion in 120°F water for 30 minutes. (Warning: Higher temperatures may kill the seed. )
Acorn viability is adversely affected by dry storage. If acorns lose as little as 15% of their initial moisture, percent germination may be reduced by one-third; 20% moisture loss may reduce viabiity by 96%. This is why acorns that have been lying on the ground for 2 days may not germinate. If stored in damp peat moss, acorns will germinate and may remain healthy for a short period of time. After 4 or more weeks storage in wet peat they will begin to rot.
Ideally, acorns should be planted immediately after collection. No scarification or stratification is required; but any remaining cups should be removed.
One of the two trees considered to be "Texas live oaks"
Image courtesy of Image Archive of Central Texas Plants
Acorns initially may be sown in flats in the greenhouse to be planted later, sown outside in nursery seedbeds, or seeded directly in nursery rows. A well-drained growing medium is preferred for germination in flats. Flats should be at least 6 inches deep. Covering the bottom of the flat with copper wire mesh promotes an extensive, well-developed root system. Seedling tap roots are killed when they touch the mesh, and lateral branching is encouraged. This type of root system is deal for continued frowth in 1- and 3-gallon containers. Seedlings may be moved to containers during the spring following fall germination.
Acorns may be sown in outdoor beds. Organic matter and fertilizer can be incorporated into the seedbed soil at planting time if required. Weed control is essential. Pre-plant fumigations and pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicides may be required to control weeds. Manufacturers label directions should be followed explicitly.
Seed may be broadcast or drilled into rows 8-12 inches aparts. Generally, sowing 4.5 pounds of acorns per 100 square feet will provide a seedling density of 10 per square foot. This rate allows for an anticipated 30% loss in seedling number due to environmental conditions and culling. Acorns should be planted 1-2 inches deep. An organic mulch applied to the seedbed will conserve moisture, protect against soil rusting and cold temperatures, and help control weeds. Covering the mulched seedbed with hardware cloth will protect acorns from birds and rodents. Remove the screen before seedlings touch the metal.
Seedlings generally remain in the seedbed one year. They may then be transplanted to nursery rows for additional growth.
In some areas, direct seeding of nursery rows is practiced. Acorns are sown 4-6 inches apart and 3 inches deep in rows 4-6 feet apart. These dimensions may require modification with soil type, maintenance practices and digging equipment selected.
If the nursery is located on soil containing some clay, trees can be balled and burlapped when sold; the procedure is more difficult on sandy soils, and trees may have to be boxed. Soils should be well-drained and of moderate to good fertility for optimum growth.
Source and quality of irrigation water must be considered. Fertility rates will depend upon soils. County agricultural extension agents can provide soil and water analysis procedures.
Return to HortUpdate - Nov/Dec 2010 Index
How to grow oak from an acorn at home
Oak is one of the largest, most beautiful, majestic trees. Turns out it's easy to grow. In this article, we will tell you how to grow an oak from an acorn at home or in the garden. In the first part, we offer an article from our subscriber, in the second - the technology of growing oak seedlings in nurseries. In the reviews, you can share your experience of growing oak on the site.
- Part 1 - Home growing
- Gry in water
- We transplant in pots
- Tround in spring
- Planting in the soil
- Part 2 - Technology for growing seedlings
- Fruit ripening, preliminary cleaning
- Cleaning, drying
- Planting seed germination
- Sowing in a school
- Growing seedlings on a peat substrate in a greenhouse
Part 1 - Home growing
One day, walking in the forest, I looked under my feet and found a lot of acorns lying under oak trees, they had just fallen from the tree in autumn. I remembered a book for children on botany, which I read as a child, where there was a description of how to grow an oak tree in a glass. For some reason, that chapter was very memorable to me and there was a desire to grow a plant on my own, which I never realized. And now, after many years, I remembered him. Luckily everything went well! Now I set out to plant an alley of oaks in our yard.
Sprouting in water
In a book read in childhood, it was described that you need to pour water into a glass and hang an acorn in the glass on a thread passed through it. The acorn must be hung so that it only touches the surface of the water, and does not sink into it. After a few weeks, it should give a root and then a stem. And you know what, it worked!
I also read that instead of a thread, you can carefully prick an acorn with a toothpick and hang it up, barely immersing it in water.
After a few weeks of waiting, you will be able to enjoy a small oak growing in a glass. Almost all acorns soaked in this way have sprouted roots. However, after a while, you can notice that the oak becomes crowded, the roots quickly reach the bottom of the glass and cannot grow freely. I decided to transplant oaks on the ground.
Transplanting into pots
Since winter was in full swing, I planted rooted acorns in small peat pots. I used the usual universal primer that I bought at the supermarket.
A week later, a merry sprout grew out of the ground, which quickly grew upwards, giving green leaves.
My young plants did not require any special care, except for regular watering. It is important not to allow the soil to dry out.
Hardening in the spring
And this is how my oaks grew on the windowsill all winter, feeling good in a heated room. When spring came, just after the last frost, I put the pots on the balcony to harden the oaks, because I had already decided that I would plant them in our yard. In the spring, the sun is sometimes very strong and the soil in small pots dried up instantly, so now we water the plants every day so that they do not dry out.
Planting in the ground
In May, I planted seedlings in the open ground. Planted, crushed the soil, watered. The seedlings have taken root well. However, it is very important to water young trees regularly if the weather is dry. Fortunately, the mothers from our yard were enthusiastic about my idea and we took turns going for a walk with bottles of water. The seedlings did well. This fall, I will definitely repeat the experiment and try to grow more seedlings by next spring.
What else you need to know before planting an oak:
- Oak is a very large tree, one of the largest. It should not be planted in a small garden!
- The taproot of an oak is a deep root system.
- Oak does not grow in any soil. He loves fertile, moisture-intensive soil! It should not be planted on sandy soils.
This method of tree planting requires careful aftercare. Small seedlings after planting in the yard where animals, children run, the plot is overgrown with all-consuming weeds, have little chance of survival. In addition, after growing in small pots, they have a poorly developed root system, so the plants have a problem with penetrating deeper into the moist soil horizons. And they have to survive in the hot summer.
Part 2 - Technology of growing seedlings
Oak blossoms simultaneously with the beginning of leaf development, usually in May. Male flowers are collected in hanging, loose, light green inflorescences 4-6 cm long. Female flowers are found singly or 2-5 in spike-shaped inflorescences at the top of short peduncles. Pollination occurs with the help of wind.
Oak fruits, called acorns, develop in the year of flowering and ripen in September-October, then fall off. Acorns that fall earlier are usually wormy and of no value. Each acorn contains one seed. The embryo consists of 2 fleshy cotyledons. Acorns grow singly or in several pieces (3-5) on a common peduncle 15-20 mm long. Their length reaches 15-25 mm, width 8-14 mm, the shape is elongated, oval, often pointed at the top, the widest diameter is 1/3 or half of the total length.
Acorn shell when fully mature, dry, brown (unicolor), bright green with a pink bloom when falling, although the seeds are fully ripe. A few days after shedding, the color of the shell turns brown, no stripes are visible on it. Oak seeds do not go dormant.
During the fall from the trees, the moisture content of acorns (relative to the fresh mass) is very high, sometimes reaching 50% or more. Harvesting is started when a significant number of good quality fruits are already on the ground. However, they should not be allowed to lie for too long (more than 2 weeks). During very wet or rainy periods, acorns should be harvested as early as possible, because when they swell, they germinate easily. If the weather is damp and warm, the fruits sprout on trees.
Fruit picking, pre-cleaning
Oak does not bear fruit every year. In years of poor harvest, wormy, poor-quality acorns predominate. The acorns of all oaks are the food of various animal species, especially wild boars.
The number of acorns in 1 kg is 130-650 pcs. - an average of 250-400 pcs.
Acorns are harvested in October, from the ground, usually some time after the fall of the first, most often damaged or wormy. Under the trees, you can lay out the panels, which greatly facilitates the harvest.
Due to the sensitivity of acorns to shock, harsh manipulations should be avoided, especially when pouring them out of bags onto a hard floor, nor should they be trampled on. Due to high humidity, they should be laid out to dry immediately, on the day of harvest, in a ventilated and cool place, in a layer no more than 10 cm thick.
In autumn, some pests feed on acorns, especially the larvae of the oak weevil (Curculio glandium). Their presence cannot be determined without piercing, because the holes are formed only in the spring.
Hand-harvested acorns are clean as bowls and twigs are removed at harvest time. If this has not been done, you should start cleaning the crop as soon as possible. For this purpose, the method of soaking in water is especially suitable - after collecting the floating impurities floating on the surface of the water with a sieve, the sunken acorns are taken out from the bottom of the tank and quickly dried in a dry, ventilated place.
For a large number of acorns, dryers are used, the flat bottom of which is made of stainless steel mesh or perforated sheet. Air heated to a temperature of 18-20 ° C is supplied from below to the acorns. This allows you to quickly dry them to a moisture content of 42-48%, which is considered optimal for storing acorns.
Acorns that are too wet germinate easily. Therefore, they are stored in cool, unheated, well-ventilated rooms, laid out in a layer no thicker than 10 cm. It is necessary to sort and mix them first 2 times a day, then once a day. This ensures a uniform and gradual reduction in moisture and prevents spontaneous heating of the seed.
With such storage, water condensation on the acorns of the upper layer "sweating" can be observed. The reason for this phenomenon is the respiration of seeds from the lower levels of the accumulated batch and the condensation of water vapor on the surface of cold acorns. When storing seeds with high output moisture, it can be seen that their weight rapidly decreases, for example, by 15%. Seeds with an initial moisture content of 42-48%, whose weight is reduced by a quarter (or even more), begin to lose their service life, as their moisture content drops below the critical level of 40-42%. Thus, the phenomenon of seed dehydration is accompanied by the loss of their viability.
Drying or temporary storage of acorns can be carried out on a flooring located on beams 22-25 cm above the floor of the room. This provides better ventilation and prevents excessive wetting of the seed in the lower layers.
Practicing foresters have long used a variety of ways to store acorns, taking advantage of the cooler temperatures of late autumn and winter. Acorns can be stored:
- in fresh sand in cold cellars;
- in earth pits, ditches, layers of sand;
- under trees on a surface of soil cleared of vegetation on a layer of straw, covered with straw and earth;
- under a tree on a thin layer of leaves, covering them first with leaves and then with snow.
The result of storage depends on external temperatures, the protection of seeds with an insulating layer from frost and dehydration, the initial quality of the acorns and the experience of the forester. The last factor plays a significant role.
The storage of each lot must be preceded by an assessment of the quality of the seeds (an attempt to cut) and the determination of the moisture content of whole acorns. Traditional methods can save up to 70% of the seeds, initially viable only until the first spring after harvest, except in cases of severe fungal infection. Sow acorns should be in the spring, after the final departure of winter.
The moisture content of acorns, favorable for storage, is in the range of 42-48%.
Based on the results obtained in England by Holmes and Bushevich (1956), on the example of a stem oak, it was found that the optimal conditions for storing acorns of a pedunculate oak are about -1°C, the optimum temperature is -2°C, while seed moisture should be in the range of 40-45%. Containers (plastic drums) should not be tightly closed, as the seeds need to provide limited gas exchange with the environment through an appropriate ventilation system (perforation in the vertical axis of the container). When using traditional storage methods, one should not forget that the temperature of the air and soil rises with the beginning of spring, which can contribute to the germination of acorns even before the planned sowing time in the nursery.
Comparable results have been obtained by mixing acorns with the substrate (dry peat, dry sawdust) and by not using the substrate at all. The advantage of having a substrate is the possibility of separating the seeds from each other and the possible restriction of the spread of fungi. From an economic point of view, it is irrational to store them in peat, which occupies half the capacity of the tanks. After storage for 4 years at a temperature of + 1 ° C in air-dry peat with a humidity of 25-30%, a germination rate of about 50% was obtained under laboratory conditions.
Planting, seed germination
Oak seeds do not fall into dormancy and germinate easily at elevated temperatures. At a temperature of 20 °C, all epicotyls (shoots) germinate from the cotyledons in a maximum of 20 days. Autumn weather - warm, rich in rainfall, causes the seeds to germinate immediately after falling on wet ground, if they have not yet begun to germinate on trees before they fall out of the bowls.
Acorn sprouting technology provides for the following steps and conditions:
- Acorns are soaked for 48 hours in water at room temperature.
- Prepare a room with a temperature of 20 °C and moderate lighting, and pots, using sand or sand mixed with peat as a substrate. The substrate can also be vermiculite.
- Moisten the substrate. Soaked acorns are placed or slightly pressed into the sand for 1/3 of their length, the shell can be removed, but this is not necessary. When planting in vermiculite, acorns are immersed in it in a supine position to a depth corresponding to 2/3 of their diameter.
- Germination should be completed within 28-30 days.
Sowing in school
Many nurseries sow acorns in autumn, shortly after harvest. This is associated with a significant risk, since damage by wild boars, rodents and birds can be caused during sowing, and acorns can also rot in too wet soil. Great damage can be done by frost and alternating freezing and thawing of the soil, especially in harsh climates during snowless winters.
In such situations it may be necessary to cover crops with a layer of mulch to insulate against low temperatures (straw, leaves). Because of such risks, it becomes necessary to increase the sowing rates, which contributes to the waste of seeds, so it is recommended, if possible, to sow acorns in April - May.
An obvious condition is the ability to properly store acorns in winter. Seedlings then are usually more numerous than after autumn sowing. Spring sowing also makes it easier to decide on seeding density, which depends on how this event is carried out and the requirements for seedlings in terms of age and quality characteristics.
Oak seedlings suitable for sale must meet quality standards regarding height (40 cm) and the appropriate ratio of height to thickness at the root collar. Growing seedlings to this size in the nursery lasts 2-3 years, and with early sowing in peat soil in greenhouses, only one growing season is enough.
Acorns are sown in the nursery at the beginning of April, in rows, in well-prepared soil. The site must be carefully prepared, dig the soil, select the weeds. On clay soils, it is necessary to add sand to the rows for planting. When sowing in rows or bands, at a row distance of 25 cm from each other, 20-25 seeds are sown per 1 meter of the sowing strip.
The sown seeds are covered with a layer of earth 2-5 cm thick, the thickness of the earth layer depends on the season:
- in autumn - 4-5 cm,
- in spring - 2-3 cm. (up to 8 cm), especially in autumn.
Grooves can be backfilled with material lighter than soil to reduce ground resistance to risings.
Growing seedlings on peat in a greenhouse
This method produces plants with good growth characteristics during one growing season. Mode Operating Factors:
- the presence of water, oxygen and mineral components supplied to the roots through peat;
- medium temperature range 25-30 °C;
- increased air humidity;
- appropriate seedling density;
- phytosanitary procedures.
Acorns are sown in heated greenhouses in March-April on a leveled peat substrate and covered with a 2 cm layer of the same substrate. To get from 1 m² 80-100 seedlings suitable for sale, 160-200 seeds capable of germination should be sown on this area of sowing. For mineral nutrition of plants, loose mineral fertilizers are used.
Plants should be given intensive protection due to conditions favorable for the emergence and development of infections. Treatments with benomyl, 50% with water are necessary. The greenhouse film is removed in July to stop the growth of seedlings in height, to promote thickening of the root collars and to allow the plants to become woody. Seedlings are dug up before winter, sorted and delivered to consumers with an open root system, just like plants produced by the traditional system.
In the fall, while walking, I found already grown acorns with sprouts. Carefully dug up and planted at home in pots. On the windowsill I have 7 of them, 5 to 10 cm high. Let's see what happens next.
I have already grown five oak trees without sticking needles in them. All you need is good soil, I plant acorns in pots to a depth of 5-8 cm, in summer you need to water every 2-3 days. When they germinate, let them grow until late autumn. When the leaves fall, take it to the balcony and cover the pot with jute or an old sweater so that the soil in the pot does not freeze through in too cold a winter. In the spring, from May, the seedling acclimatizes and will give new leaves and shoots.
Great initiative! I also planted an acorn, but in a jar for cotton buds. It is already growing well, a small root and a small leaf have appeared.
Masha from Tula
Hello. Maybe someone will help. I have a tiny oak in a 24 cm pot. When can it be transplanted into the ground so as not to harm?
Plant an acorn with a sprout around March-April, when the ground is thawed and still wet, to a depth of about 10 cm and that's it. During the hot summer months, it needs to be watered from time to time. Oak can even cope with weeds.
Hello! On the playground in the sand (!) I found about a dozen acorns and several already sprouting. I'm going to plant them in the ground right now. Maybe this sand is also a hint, should they be germinated in the sand? I want to grow an oak tree - an acorn bonsai at home, I hope it's not too hot in the apartment in winter.
Hello, from acorns you can grow a whole forest of oaks in your country house. In my garden in the fall, I poured mulch on a flower bed of cones and acorns for decorative purposes, by analogy with the bark. They were watered only by the rain, as he wanted. In spring and summer, the bed turned out to be “filled with” seedlings (now 15-20 cm high). I'll go to the nearest city park and plant as many seedlings as possible.
Hello everyone! I personally put chestnuts, acorns in wet sand, and they germinate perfectly, and then directly into the ground.
Acorn oak at home. How to grow? © Geostart
Heading: Trees and shrubs
Oak is a tall and powerful tree with a dense crown and strong trunk, the personification of strength, courage, knowledge, longevity and power since antiquity. Knowing how to grow an oak from an acorn, you can plant this age-old tree near your home, which your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will enjoy. It is also a very curious experiment for children who will be interested in watching how the sprout develops. At home, you can grow a miniature decorative bonsai in a pot.
It is always better to grow native trees. For Russia (in its European part), pedunculate oak is typical, but sometimes red is also found, so you need to be able to distinguish between seeds. The acorn of the pedunculate oak has an oval shape and a smooth surface, its American counterpart is round and pubescent.
Oak acorns should be harvested in autumn, best of all in October. It is impossible to pluck from the tree, only whole, large, heavy brown fruits that themselves have fallen from the branches will do. Greenish specimens should not be collected, as they are not suitable. Fallen nuts are advised to shake vigorously and listen to see if the core is alive inside. It is also recommended to collect slightly fallen leaves and soil from the place where the mother plant grows to preserve the planting material. At home, you also need to check the "harvest". To do this, it is enough to draw water (only cold) into the basin and lower the acorns there: the acorns that have floated up are unusable, they can be collected and thrown away. After 7 minutes, you need to check the planting material again. Those specimens that remained at the bottom are excellent raw materials for planting.
It is quite possible to grow an oak from an acorn in a pot, the main thing is to sow it in the spring. In no case should you try to germinate a seed in the fall, this is a waste of time. Trees grown out of season take root with difficulty and grow weak.
Planting stock should either overwinter under natural conditions under snow cover in the forest or at home. This is done like this:
- You need to take a jar with a lid.
- Make ventilation holes in the lid.
- Pour the collected earth into the container along with the leaves.
- Place the acorns there.
- Close the container with a lid and put it in a place with a temperature of at least 2 degrees Celsius (refrigerator or cellar).
While the blanks are being stratified, you need to learn how to germinate oak acorns. "Overwintered" fruits should be placed, for example, in wet sphagnum and left in the refrigerator for 3 months. How long the roots will break through depends on the type and type of tree. With planting material with appeared roots, you need to work very carefully, protecting it from various damages.
You can, of course, take a simpler path and try to find a germinated acorn on the first spring days, when the snow has melted, but the sprout has not yet taken root. Such a “find” must be immediately wrapped in moist material; it cannot be kept in the air, as the roots will dry out. How to plant an oak acorn at home - for a drink, a bucket for popcorn. At the bottom, be sure to make holes for the exit of water. Also, these holes are necessary to see how much the root has sprouted. If the roots began to appear in holes and twist, then you need a larger container or it's time to transplant.
- Fill the prepared container with substrate. It is better to take a universal flower or earth from the place where the mother oak grows. You can also make the mixture yourself - from fertile soil mixed with peat moss.
- Make a small hole 2.5 cm deep.
- Place a germinating nut in a horizontal position in the hole and cover with potting soil.
- Water well.
- Cover the container with a damp cloth, piece of glass or film to create a greenhouse effect.
Watering should be carried out every few days, focusing on the moisture content of the substrate. The top layer of soil in the pot should be slightly damp, but not dry or wet.
Now you need to be patient. The seed will first give a root, and after 23–28 days a sprout should appear. At this stage, the main task is to provide good lighting. If there is little light, then the seedling is unlikely to have time to get stronger during the season. Therefore, you should not put a container with a plant on the windowsills on the north side of the house or windows that are shaded by nearby high-rise buildings. If there is no bright place in the apartment, it is better to buy a special bulb for plants and install it as a source of additional lighting.
When 6-7 weeks have passed since germination, it is advisable to feed the seedling. You can use any complex mineral fertilizer according to the instructions, but not organic.
It is also highly recommended to keep the tree in conditions as close to natural as possible. Great if there is a balcony or an open window sill. Otherwise, a few weeks before transplanting to a permanent place, hardening should be carried out on the street. At the same time, for the first time, a few minutes are enough. At first, it is impossible to place a container with a seedling in a sunny place, the leaves can get burned.
Now the question whether it is possible to grow an oak from an acorn disappears by itself. This is easy enough to do even for a student.
Peculiarities of planting outdoors
Seedlings need to be carefully looked after and next autumn it will be possible to transplant them to a permanent place, for example, where it is planned to revive the forest. Determining the readiness of seedlings is simple. She already has a well-formed root system, there is a central root, leaves, and the plants themselves have reached 17–20 cm in height.
It is very important to consider the distance between trees. In adulthood, they should not be a hindrance to each other. Therefore, the optimal distance between trees in a park or garden is about 5 m. If you need to create a tight fit, these numbers are reduced.
As for the soil, it is better to make a nutrient mixture from the following components:
- leaf earth;
- some expanded clay (if the soil is too heavy).
Before planting, check if the main root has grown through the bottom. If so, then you definitely need to cut off the protruding part with sharp scissors. If not, it is necessary to cut off the part that curled up and rounded, resting on the bottom. For oak, this is very important - that the root is straight, not twisted.
Seedlings should be transplanted carefully, removing them from a container with a large clod of earth. Pits must be dug a little deeper than the existing pots, then loosen the soil at the bottom and carefully place the seedling. Without damage, transplantation is possible only at an early age. Otherwise, the root system of the tree grows strongly and deepens, which creates difficulties in the transplant process.
When planting, make sure that the root collar remains at ground level or even slightly higher. In no case should it be deepened, as this may adversely affect the growth of the tree. A few days after planting, it is important to water the plants well, increasing the volume of water in the heat.
In the first years after planting, it is important to monitor the regularity of watering, timely weeding and loosening the soil to a depth of about 22 cm. 4 weeks before the leaves fall, it is advised to stop watering so that the seedlings can prepare for winter. Trees respond well to feeding. It is enough to dilute mullein, ammonium nitrate and urea in water and feed the plantings.
Young seedlings are highly susceptible to powdery mildew. To prevent the disease, it is necessary to treat plantings with colloidal sulfur or other similar means in a timely manner.
Scope of application
Oak acorns deserve special attention, the use of which is possible in many areas of human life.
The main way to restore oak forests is to sow acorns. Therefore, many people attract volunteers, schoolchildren and all those who are not indifferent to nature and hold campaigns to collect planting material to help forestry.
One often hears the question whether people eat oak acorns. These fruits are rich in starch and easily digestible carbohydrates. True, the tannins give them a slightly bitter taste and viscosity, but they are easily removed during the soaking process. Soaked nuts are roasted until golden brown and powdered. It turns out a drink that is very reminiscent of coffee, but has medicinal properties and alleviates the condition with bronchial asthma and cough.
Raw fruits have an unpleasant taste, due to excessive amounts of tannic acid they can be poisonous to humans. Therefore, wondering if it is possible to eat oak acorns, many specify in what form they are allowed to be eaten.
First of all, the harvested "harvest" must be blanched - washed in hot water until it becomes clear. You can still just leave the fruits in a soda solution (per liter of water - 1 tablespoon). Soaked acorns should be dried well.
- Dried raw materials can be made into flour and used in baked goods.
- If the flour is sifted and the fibers are removed, the resulting starch is often used in Korean cooking.
- You can make delicious butter by churning acorns in a blender and sweetening it, it will turn out just as good as peanut butter.
- You can also pickle acorns in brine, such as olives. This is not only a real delicacy, but also an effective medicine.
- Roasted fruits can be used as a substitute for nuts, peas, lentils, beans, seasonings or sauces.
- Children will surely like fried, peeled and soaked in sugar syrup acorns - better and healthier than store-bought sweets.
Recent studies have shown that these foods can normalize cholesterol and blood sugar levels, so they are not only delicious, but also healthy.