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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Willow Park,TEXAS
Happy New Year everyone,
I have two large burr oak seeds that I would like to plant. It seems I heard Howard say once to place them in a container on their side and cover only half of the seed with dirt? With this in mind, here are my questions:

1. Is it too late to plant them this season?
2. How exactly should I plant the seeds to give them the best chance to survival and thrive?

Thanks,
Don


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 Post subject: Planting Burr Oak Acorns
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Waxahachie,TX
You first need to see if they are still viable. Put them in water. If they sink, go ahead and plant them. If they float, throw them away. If they are viable, you don't have anything to lose by planting them now.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:21 pm
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Location: Willow Park,TEXAS
Thanks, I'll check them tonight. If the seeds are viable, do I plant them completely covered with dirt, or only halfway covered?


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 Post subject: Planting Acorns
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Waxahachie,TX
The rule I heard and have followed is to plant it as deep as the acorn is wide. It has always worked for me with Live Oaks and Red Oaks


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 8:30 pm
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Location: Manvel,TEXAS
How do you keep the squirrels from digging up the acorns? I have two Burr Oak acorns that I would love to plant , but....


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 3:35 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TEXAS
Put gravel on the top of your pot where you've planted the seeds. Once the tree emerges, I would put larger stones around it. I put rocks around all my potted plants and it works to keep the squirrels out.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:59 pm
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Location: Austin,TEXAS
Since Bur Oaks quickly put out a deep taproot I think your best bet long-term is to plant the acorns directly in the ground where you want the trees to be (as opposed to planting in a pot where the tap root will be thwarted by the pot). I really think the tree will do best this way, and this has been our experience with planting live oaks from acorns...

My dad has a great solution for protecting the acorns/soon-to-be-saplings. he makes a cage out of chicken wire (not sure what the actual name is, but it is a grid of 1/2" squares) by rolling it into a cylinder maybe 1 1/2 feet in diameter, tying the two sides together where they meet with wire, and tying on a top piece of the same material. Then we drive 2 pieces of rebar into the ground on either side of the acorn so that the cage just fits over the 2 pieces. We try to work the cage down to the ground through the mulch so it's more secure from animals , and finally we tie the cage to the rebar with a few pieces of wire.

This has worked great against surface animals and birds, though gophers are another matter entirely :(

I just collected some Bur Oak acorns last friday near Elgin and we planted 10 or so over the weekend down past San Antonio where my parents live. I can't wait for them them to come up!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:21 pm
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Location: Willow Park,TEXAS
Good info! And good luck with the acorns.
Don


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:21 pm
Posts: 34
the squirrels usually plant mine....
if your method does not work-shoot me an email-i am usually mowing down 8-10 burr oaks and shumard red oaks every spring...

i can attest that they replant quite easily from the tip of a shovel, as can my neighbors, who have 10'-15' high castoffs from my yard

dana/oak cliff (dallas)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:59 pm
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Location: Austin,TEXAS
Well, it turns out getting them to come up in South Texas is the easy part... Of 16 or so we planted, only 2 didn't come up. First batch was planted immediately (in November 08). They came up in about 2 months. The others were kept in the refrigerator. Once the first ones came up, we planted the others (in January or Feb 09). These only took about 1 month to come up.

They all started off great, shooting up to 5-8" with big beautiful green leaves, but then with the horrible scorching heat and drought down there (considerably worse than even the Austin area where I live) there were some casualties... A number of them turned brown and seemed to die despite more and more frequent watering. Despite thick mulch, the soil would dry up very quickly. The ones in deeper, better soil did ok (no new growth, burned leaves, but they hung in there and maintained some green). However all the ones in one pasture with the shallowest soil (6"-12" clay with solid caliche underneath where not much likes to grow) turned brown.

Finally, it occurred to me that trees usually sprout under the shade of other trees, and so I put fabric 'shades' over the 'cages' to block the sunlight during the most intense part of the day, still allowing sun in the morning and evening. This kept the trees and soil from being fried. All but one of the ones that seemed to die sprouted back up again and did better this time. This took probably a month to happen, so I'm glad we didn't give up on them! We had continued watering them as before just in case. The shades also helped the others, and some started to put on new leaves.

Now that it's FINALLY cooled off and has been pretty rainy, almost all of them are putting on new leaves and looking ok or even good. We also recently started using Alphabiosystems Thrive, which seems to be working wonders (I'd highly recommend it).

So this is an important lesson I learned with new small trees- give them some shade during the worst part of the summer when it's this intensely bad!

I'm hoping that since they survived possibly the worst summer drought and heat in recorded history, they'll do great under more mild conditions. I know they've been building strong root systems and it will be great to see them take off in the spring.

This year I collected a bunch of Chinquapin Oak acorns and Mexican Plum seeds so they will be next. With these we're going to grow them in pots for a while first... Maybe it will give them a better chance if these drought conditions continue.

Update to the cage system- found that inner wire mesh cage should be at least 3 feet in diameter (originals were way too small). They are also very handy for attaching a 'shade' as I mentioned before. These cages became even more important this summer since the deer became hungry enough to eat trees... I know it's common in the hill country but I don't know of them ever getting that desperate at my parents' place in the past...


Attachments:
File comment: One of the cage systems (on a Texas Ash). Notice inner mesh wire cage and watering bucket. The rebar in this case was put on the outside of the mesh, but putting the cage OVER the rebar is better because the cage is supported that way.
cage.jpg
cage.jpg [ 73.4 KiB | Viewed 3806 times ]
File comment: Young burr oak, newly sprouted. This was 2nd tree to come up- planted in Nov '08, picture taken in February shortly after tree sprouted.
burr.jpg
burr.jpg [ 76.45 KiB | Viewed 3802 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:40 pm
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I've also had a friend who told me that he uses the metal mesh rolled around the tree when it first starts to break through the soil,but he goes 1 step father and goes by his barber shop and gets a bucket full of fresh cut human hair,he swears by this method and says it even keeps deer and skunks away. :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:59 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Austin,TEXAS
Thanks for the idea! I'm gonna try it (can't hurt).

Well, after this wet winter and mild wet spring the Bur oaks are doing great! Last year, the one from the picture in my previous post did the best. After that picture was taken, it developed one huge (probably 8") leaf and kept it all through the summer. It's the only tree I didn't have to put a shade on. I loved seeing that one big leaf like a huge solar panel, drawing in all that solar energy to create a great root system.

So I was looking forward to some great growth this spring and this tree didn't disappoint! One day it was budding out and a day or two later I came back out and was amazed to see this: (see picture). It went from 6" to about 2 feet tall, full of huge leaves, all in the space of a few days... Pretty amazing!

Some of the other trees that had the worst time before now look about like this one did last year. So maybe they are a year behind, but they all look great, and hopefully are now well established. Let's hope we have a milder wetter summer this year!


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bur.jpg
bur.jpg [ 72.45 KiB | Viewed 3438 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:13 pm
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I've recently began expirementing with my own acorns as well, and this is my first batch:

I originally just placed a ton of acorns in an old feed trough spaced 1 inch apart from each other. After they broke through, I potted them. I collected the acorns way too late, after squirrels had their first and second helpings, so I was stuck with all the rejects. Most of the acorns failed the float test, yet several that failed were actually still viable. So don't automatically throw away every acorn that floats. Some are still good.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:59 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Austin,TEXAS
Great! I did the same thing this past winter with a bunch of Lacy Oak acorns I picked up in the hill country- kept them all on top of the soil in big pots until the taproot came out of the acorn and then moved each to its own pot.

Unfortunately, 'thriftiness' got me... We had some Fertilome potting soil from the pre-organic days, and I tried to stretch my Lady Bug Vortex potting soil by mixing the two types about half-and-half. It turns out the fertilome trash holds so much moisture as to remain sopping wet (until it finally instantaneously dries into a hard caked rock). Most of the Lacy Oaks rotted out and died. Out of about 40 which actually sprouted from the acorn, I have maybe 10 or 12 left. And a number of those seemed to die but sprouted back up again. This also happened to some of the chinquapins. Moral of the story, do it right the first time and use the good stuff (no Fertilome)... Or just plant them in the ground, in which case they would have been fine.

I also noticed the same thing- I got a handful of pretty suspect bur oak acorns and it didn't seem like any of them would sprout. Some of them eventually did, including one that actually had a couple of big weevil holes in it... As long as the embryo isn't damaged, the tree can still get going... Makes sense.

Good luck with your trees!


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