Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

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.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Why so many acorns in Houston?
November 16, 2009 - My son's home in Houston has a Live Oak. This year it has dropped MILLIONs of the seed pods. This hasn't happened in the nine years of living there. Is anything wrong with it? It looks OK but he ...
view the full question and answer

Will non-native and invasive Mexican petunias grow under oak trees from St. Augustine FL
March 24, 2013 - Will Mexican Petunias grow under an Oak tree?
view the full question and answer

Can a soapberry tree be grown in Colorado Springs?
May 04, 2010 - I live in Colorado Springs and I was wondering if it is possible to grow a soapberry tree here?
view the full question and answer

Care of lemon cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)
June 09, 2008 - How do I care for a Lemon Cypress tree? Does it require a lot of sun? How often should I water it? It is 18" high and I have it in a pot on my screen porch. Thank-you
view the full question and answer

Should shredded Ashe juniper be composted for mulch?
May 06, 2009 - Our neighbor shredded some Texas Hill Country cedar trees. Can we use it safely as mulch? Do we need to wait until it composts some?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.