Last Updated on September 28, 2022 by Griselda M.
Would you like to learn how to grow a live oak tree from an acorn? If you answered yes to this question, keep reading this article and you will learn all you need to know to grow your very own oak tree from an acorn.
If you have space in your garden and are a lover of wildlife, growing an oak tree is one of the best things you could do. With so many varieties of oak to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting one. Let us learn how to go about doing this.
How To Grow a Live Oak Tree From an Acorn in 7 Steps
Step #1: Picking your acorns
The first thing to do is to select an acorn of an oak tree that is native to where you live. This means that your oak tree will have a better chance of survival because it will be adapted to that environment. Also, be sure to pick acorns that have failed to the ground instead of picking ones that are on the tree. This is because the ones that have fallen to the ground are mature.
Only pick acorns that look healthy and show no signs of damage, mold on other disease infestations. Discard any that still have caps attached, broken, or have mold or rot on them.
Collect more acorns than you need in case some of them don’t take.
Step #2: Selecting viable acorns
Fill a bowl with water and place all the acorns that you picked in the water. All the viable acorns will sink to the bottom of the bowl, and the damaged or empty ones will float to the top. Discard the acorns that float to the top because they are not good for planting.
Leave your viable acorns in the water for a while to help rehydrate them before planting. This will help speed up the germination process.
Step #3: Plant Your Acorns
Plant your acorns right away. If you are unable to do so, do not panic. You can store them for a few days. Ensure that they stay moist and do not dry out before you plant them. You can do this by misting them with water from a spray bottle every day, and storing them in a plastic bag.
You will need to prepare a good potting soil mix that contains perlite for planting your acorns. Use a planter or pot that has drainage holes at the bottom. Although your oak seedling will eventually be planted in the ground, a good potting soil mix that is free of diseases is ideal to get your seedlings started.
Plant the acorns sideways in the soil, and push them through so that they are covered by the soil. Water the acorns until water runs out the bottom of the pot.
Plant your acorns early in autumn, and depending on the type of oak you are planting, you may have to wait until the next spring to see any signs of germination
Step #4: Water your acorns
Water your acorns daily and make sure that the soil remains moist but not completely wet. At the onset of winter, it may be wise to put your planters in a greenhouse if you have one. If not, use a screen to cover the planter or pot. Carefully watch the plant so that you can lift the screen when the acorn starts to germinate.
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Step #5: Maintenance of your seedlings
Make sure that you keep your seedlings and soil disease and pest free. Also, remove any weeds that may come up so that your seedlings do not have to compete for nutrients with these weeds.
If more than one seedlings come up in the pot, remove the weaker seedlings and leave the ones that have a better chance of survival.
Step #6: Transplant your seedlings
When your seedlings get to at least six inches in height, transplant them into larger pots where they will have more room to grow. Make a mix of potting soil and garden soil to transplant your seedlings into. Add some fertilizer or manure to this soil to boost its nutritional content of the soil.
Step #7: Transfer your seedlings to a permanent location
Once the root system of your seedlings has been established, dig a hole in the ground in a place that will be the permanent location of your oak tree. The hole should be about three times the size of the container that the seedlings are in. Add organic matter to the hole before planting your seedling.
Add a thick layer of mulch around your seedling and water it as needed. Make sure that the tree is protected from pets, children, and anything that might damage it until it has grown solid.
Read more about How Much Space Does An Oak Tree Need To Grow?
Oak trees are some of the best trees you can add to beautify your garden and provide a habitat for wildlife. Although these trees take long to become established, your patience will surely be rewarded. We hope that this guide provided you with all you need to know on how to grow a live oak tree from an acorn.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to plant an acorn?
The best way to plant an acorn in sideways in a pot that has been filled with good potting soil and watering it every day until it germinates.
Do acorns need to freeze before germinating?
No. They can be planted immediately in the fall. The best time to plant is the last frost date, and they should be sown in a nursery bed where they will have all winter to germinate.
How do you grow an oak tree indoors?
Growing an oak indoors is a little challenging because you need to give it the right environment and conditions in which it can thrive. In most cases, these requirements are best found outdoors.
How do you sprout an acorn in water?
Acorns are usually found at the bottom of a tree and have a hard shell. They need to be soaked before they can be sprouted. This process helps to rehydrate them before they germinate.
What month do acorns start to grow?
Acorns will start to grow during the spring and summer months, shortly after the tree has flowered in spring.