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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Monday - January 25, 2010

From: Valley Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Growing live oaks from acorns
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the best way to grow Live Oaks from acorns?

ANSWER:

You can find some of the information about propagating Quercus fusiformis (plateau live oak) on the species page, but you can find even more in Jill Noke's How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest.  She recommends that the acorns be planted very soon after collecting for best results.  They should be sown directlly in the ground or in a deep container to accommodate the long tap root.  The acorns should be covered with 1-2 inches of firm soil and spaced 8-14 inches apart if sown directly in the ground.  Covering them with mulch will help retain the moisture for germination.  It is also recommended that you cover the plantings with a wiremesh framework to keep squirrels and other rodents from digging the acorns out.

If you are planting in a container, be sure that you use a deep container with a soil mix that drains properly.  As you move the young oaks to larger containers, Nokes recommends air pruning the roots to ensure that they develop a good root system.

 

 

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