Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Pruning guidance for Carolina buckthorn from Houston
October 23, 2012 - I have a Carolina Buckthorn in my back patio that I planted in fall 2001. The summer of 2003 the roofers dropped something off the back and broke the top 10-12 inches off. I have tried to train the la...
view the full question and answer

Puppy-friendly privacy screen in Montana
November 02, 2012 - I need some puppy-friendly short(< 30') privacy from the gigantic windows of my next door neighbor. But- there are power lines above the area that I needed to plant! I had planned on an aspen grove, ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a redbud sized tree to plant in Tulsa OK.
September 27, 2011 - I am looking for a native tree about the size of a redbud to place in my prairie bed in Tulsa Oklahoma, wildlife friendly trees preferred, thanks!
view the full question and answer

Care of Styphnolobium affine, Eves necklace
October 05, 2007 - I have an 18 yr old Eve's Necklace tree that is dying from the "bottom up". It has only a few leaves at the very top of the tree. I have, connected to the gutter, a rain barrel from which the exc...
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees and possible drought stress in Lott, TX.
June 11, 2011 - One of our Live Oak trees is losing leaves in only a portion of it. I have researched Oak Wilt and I am not sure that is what it has. We have trees that are hundreds of years old and was wondering i...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.