Oak Tree Care Guide

Many people love to propagate oak trees from an acorn. It is best to plant several, as germination rates are stubbornly low. Remove the cap from the acorn, soaking the remaining fruit overnight. Dispose of any immature or damaged seeds that float to the top.

Acorns from white oaks can be planted immediately after soaking while acorns from red oaks require stratification. This involves placing the acorns in a zippered bag with some moist peat moss or sawdust. Leave them for about two months, checking regularly to ensure that mold isn't forming.

Plant the acorns in pots with as least 12 inches of potting soil. Plant them one inch deep, then transplant seedlings as soon as the earliest leaves unfurl. Place cages over new saplings to prevent wildlife from eating them. Keep the soil moist so that strong roots grow.

Fertilize the tree in its second year after planting, and only if the tree has pale leaves or is not growing as expected. Remember that oak trees grow slowly, especially in their first years. If fertilizer is required, apply it early in the spring using either a 12-6-6 or 12-4-8 formulation.

Design Ideas

Oak trees are massive, so it makes sense to give them plenty of room to grow. Plant them with companies like yarrow, Manzanita, bearberry, bush anemone, rock purslane, hummingbird sage, carpenteria californica and California fuchsia.

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