If they sink to the bottom, they are mature, viable seed. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department.  »  The acorns of white oak (Quercus alba) and swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) should be planted in fall. If possible, look for suitable trees in the summer. You'll want mature trees whose acorns are easily-reached via ladder or with a long pole. My grandson and I are growing an oak tree that he can watch, "This article was very helpful. Select the four healthiest looking acorns and dry them with paper tissue. A word of explanation here about "stratification" which is essential for acorns to sprout. ", "Good information, especially on protecting trees. Plant the acorns in the soil at a depth of three times their size. This was, "It told me the tree was not deer-proof, grows too slowly for me to enjoy it grown before I'm tree, "I collected and planted three acorns a few weeks ago, without any knowledge of the right way. After 2-3 weeks, check the acorns to see if a root has emerged. After collecting some of its acorns and hoping it, "I had been searching for some info on this subject matter. Place the rest in a sealed plastic bag filled with vermiculite or peat mix and store it in the refrigerator for 45 days. If using a styrofoam cup or milk carton, poke holes in the sides of the cup near the bottom so that water can escape. I gathered about 75 Shumard oak acorns out of a Sam's parking lot this week. Acorn Selection 3) Float test the acorns. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. ", "Very helpful. By removing the acorn from the cap you are not damaging it unless you tear the acorn itself. Collect the acorns in a bucket. Once the seedlings roots fill the pot it is time to plant out your little oak tree. If, at any point, you notice that an acorn is soft to the touch, discard it as well. You first need to see if they are still viable. We are looking forward to growing our trees. Gulf Coast live oaks can produce acorns as early as 3 to 5 years. Once the acorns are collected, float test them. Teach Kids About Our Urban Forest Carefully remove the root ball.   ». Of the 19,774 northern red oak acorns collected, 14,775 floated in water (or failed the test) and 4,999 sunk (passed the test… If they sink, go ahead and plant them. They were very surprised to see that some acorns floated and others sank!  »  An untrained observer visually inspected acorns (visual test) to assign viability subjectively and then float‐tested the respective acorn. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Put the acorns in a container/plastic bag with potting soil. Understand why trees matter and learn how to plant and care for them. To increase the chances of a successful planting, you may want to place several acorns in the same area. Keep an animal-proof fence around it, and cover it with a plant cone before snow falls its first winter. Squeeze the acorns to make sure they are solid and shake them to ensure they don’t rattle. Visually inspect the acorns for holes. The acorn “sink & float” test can be an easy way to sort a large quantity of acorns quickly. Branch 3: Planting and Caring for Seedlings, Branch 5: Tree Products and Benefits to People, Branch 7: Final Projects and Celebrations. Then tried the float test for viability. Insect damaged and dehydrated acorns typically have some air space inside the shell and tend to float. Stratification is the process of a seed being exposed to the cold. The shading effect of the full-grown tree. If they float, they won’t grow, so just plant those that sink. Discard any acorns that float to the surface since they are probably rotten. I failed in the past, "Finding the acorns either green or browning, floating them to find the heavy ones to plant, and the question about, "My daughter collected acorns, and was keen to grow a tree. If they are viable, you don't have anything to lose by planting them now. healthy acorns will sink to the bottom, unhealthy ones will float. Use another better looking tree if the parent tree has problems. Plant the acorn on its side with the baby root sprout down and buried under just enough soil to cover it. Are about four to six inches tall (10 - 15 cm), with small leaves. Many other varieties don't produce acorns until they are 20 to 25 years old. Acorns should be collected as soon as they fall to the ground. Place the acorns in a bucket and cover them with water. After planting an acorn and it sprouts, when should I cut it off? A larger, healthy acorn would ensure enough "food" for the seedling when it grows the tap root followed by a shoot that bears leaves and becomes the tree's trunk. Some may not be completely formed or may have insect damage. Use caution when selecting pesticides - only use ones that are not harmful to your oak tree or your family. This article has been viewed 1,521,444 times. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/9\/94\/Grow-an-Oak-Tree-from-an-Acorn-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/v4-460px-Grow-an-Oak-Tree-from-an-Acorn-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/9\/94\/Grow-an-Oak-Tree-from-an-Acorn-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/aid127892-v4-728px-Grow-an-Oak-Tree-from-an-Acorn-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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