Oak trees are big deciduous plants belonging to the genus Quercus and they produce acorns. Some oak trees develop to look like shrubs while others can grow to become leggy and there are quite a variety of these cool plants.
Oak trees can develop to become large and it is very difficult to believe that this mighty and breathtaking tree developed just from a small acorn.
Even though it is large and unconventional to grow this tree around homes, you can always grow your own oak tree around your home and you can as well plant it as a windbreaker.
Oak trees are plants that everyone who loves gardening should try and grow in their garden space or homes and try something new – just know that you can do it if you believe and follow the guidelines that will be provided.
Oak trees can be grown from a small acorn which is usually harvested from a matured plant. There are a number of things that can be carried out when oak trees are to be planted and you don’t need to worry about directly growing them on the field from start; a container will do the trick.
In this article, we will take you through the steps involved in growing oak trees from acorns as well as how to care for your growing oak tree.
Learning how to properly care for a live oak tree will create a chance for your the future generations to enjoy the sight of the plant for years to come.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Grow Oak trees from Acorn
- 1.1 Collect acorns:
- 1.2 Test the Acorns:
- 1.3 Keep the remaining acorns hibernated:
- 1.4 Pay attention to the acorn’s growth:
- 1.5 Plant the acorns:
- 1.6 Water the seedling:
- 1.7 Keep track of your plant’s growth:
- 1.8 Harden off the seedlings:
- 1.9 Choose a planting space:
- 1.10 Site preparation:
- 1.11 Make a hole:
- 1.12 Transplant the oak seedling:
- 2 How to care for a Live Oak tree
- 3 Conclusion
How to Grow Oak trees from Acorn
Growing a matured oak tree from an acorn does not have to be difficult in any way and if the steps that will be discussed in the remaining part of the section are followed, you will be able to grow them with relative ease.
Follow these steps to grow an oak tree from an acorn:
Acorns are seeds that are produced by a matured oak tree when it attains maturity and they should be harvested between early to mid-autumn just before they fall.
The acorns to be harvested should be one that is free of worms, fungus, and holes (and soft ones should be discarded).
The color of the acorn may differ based on the variety of oak tree and an acorn that is ready for harvest should be brownish in color.
NB: one significant way to know if the acorn you are harvesting is matured enough is if the acorn can be removed from the cap (its upper protective covering) without tearing them.
Test the Acorns:
Even though you’ve successfully harvested matured acorns that can be grown, it is always important to test them.
The test to be carried out is called the “float test” which involves putting the harvested acorns in a bucket of water and allowing it to settle for about two minutes.
Acorns that float on the water should be gotten rid of because they are bad. Good acorns will sink and settle at the base of the bucket.
NB: acorns that float on water are either affected by pests or fungus and this makes them unsuitable for propagation. Also, soft acorns should be gotten rid of.
Keep the remaining acorns hibernated:
Acorns that sink in water should be removed and dried off. A large zipper bag with damp sawdust, peat mix, or any growing medium that can hold moisture should be prepared.
Place as many acorns as possible in the bag and place it in a refrigerator. This process is known as scarification and it involves the exposure of seeds to a cold environment (just like under a natural condition).
The bag should be left for a month and a half or more. NB: the acorns should be checked from time to time to ensure that the medium of growth is neither too wet nor dry to ensure the germination of the seed (acorn).
Pay attention to the acorn’s growth:
After the acorns have been hibernated, the next thing to do is watch out for the acorn’s development; note that they can begin to germinate in the presence of moisture.
Whether the acorns have begun to form substantial root or not, the acorns should be ready for planting after 40 – 45 days.
If you have acorns that have already started to germinate, be careful when handling them so as not to damage the emerging root.
Plant the acorns:
Acorns should be planted individually either in pots, containers, Styrofoam cups, or milk cartons.
The growing material you decide to use should be filled with good quality potting soil and a space for the purpose of watering the plant.
The acorns should be planted just a little bit below the surface with the root facing down. The container used for growing the acorn must have good drainage.
Water the seedling:
Adequate and sufficient water should be provided to the water at all time and just after planting, the seedling should be water until the water comes out of the hole at the bottom of the container.
At this early stage, the seedling requires water regularly for their proper development. Make sure to keep the seedling moist as much as possible and they should be situated at a location where they can receive adequate sunlight.
In situations where enough light is not received by the seedling, supplemental indoor light should be provided.
Keep track of your plant’s growth:
As the plant develops, it is very important that you pay attention to its level of growth and development. There are a number of ways in which you can access your plant’s growth and you can use any method you desire.
Some criteria to know if your plant is growing well and can be transplanted include height of about 4 – 6 inches, development of a substantial taproot growth, presence of a white, healthy-looking root, and lots more.
Harden off the seedlings:
Before final transplanting to the field, it is always very important to get the seedlings accustomed to the outdoor conditions.
Seedlings should be placed outside for varying hours some weeks before the final transplanting is to be carried out.
The rate of exposure to sunlight should be increased as the date of transplanting gets closer. When carrying this out, make sure that the seedlings are well protected against the wind.
Choose a planting space:
The choice of space where the seedlings will be planted should be carefully and judiciously decided. The place to choose must be one that won’t require the elimination of the plant in the long-run come a substantial need.
The place chosen must also be exposed to sunlight as this plant requires sunlight to grow well and attain their maximum height.
The site chosen for planting must be prepared and any vegetation around such a region must be gotten rid of.
The soil in such an area should be tilled to a depth of 10 inches so as to ensure the easy penetration of the soil by the developing roots. Water the soil and keep it moist.
Make a hole:
A deep hole should be made at the center of the prepared site. The depth of the hole will be dependent on the length of the seedling’s taproot and it must be well-dug in such a way that it will easily and conveniently accommodate it.
Transplant the oak seedling:
The seedling should be transferred into the prepared hole. The base of the seedling should be covered with dirt and it should be done in a sloping manner.
This will ensure the washing away of the soil and you can as well practice mulching to prevent the growth of weed which could compete with the plant.
How to care for a Live Oak tree
After successfully growing your oak tree, you should learn to keep it safe as small plants are very susceptible to easy damage. Below are some of the few ways through which you can care for a live oak tree:
Protect young oak trees:
Young oak trees are at a growing phase when they need to develop strong roots, leaves, and stems and they channel all their ability towards achieving this and any damage done to them at this point will have a significant impact on their survival.
Therefore, it is very important to protect the young plant and this can be done by making a cage around each plant and surrounding it with chicken wire.
If you are in a place where large animals such as deer can have access to your plant, the upper part can be covered as well. Keep rodents and herbivorous animals away from your tree.
Irrigate your plant:
During the dry seasons, one of the best ways to care for your plant is by providing them with sufficient water during the day.
Young oak trees require water at all times for their survival so you must always provide them with water at all times and make sure that the soil is never too dry as this can lead to the death of the plant.
Continue to care for them:
Although as the tree matures the amount of care needed becomes limited, it is always essential that you provide your plant with water during the dry seasons of the year.
As they grow older they will be able to withstand more stress and also grow without the need for much care and will be able to produce seeds for you when they reach the age.
Oak trees are one of the best plants to have in your environment and this exercise you are about to engage in can be a gift for those who you care about to generations to come. Grow your oak tree and properly care for them.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !