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

Shade tree for Southern California
November 14, 2013 - I had to cut down my huge ficus tree for several reasons, however it provided lots of shade, that we miss. Can you help me find a good shade tree with non-invasive roots that is good for growing and p...
view the full question and answer

Trees to plant around horse corrals
September 07, 2010 - I would like to know what types of trees would be good to plant around my horse corrals.
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Chinkapin oak from Copperas Cove TX
June 18, 2012 - I have a newly planted chinkapin oak, appx 14' tall, in the Copperas Cove TX area. It has done great for the first two weeks. Now the leaves are yellowing (June) and beginning to dry up. I water it ...
view the full question and answer

Hurricane damage to pecan tree
November 12, 2008 - The recent hurricane twisted the top out of our pecan tree, leaving a couple still attached but down on the ground. Could we cut all of the damage off and just leave the trunk? Would there be a chan...
view the full question and answer

Determining distance of trees from paving in NE Indiana
December 09, 2005 - I'd like to plant 3 types of trees (Catalpa speciosa- Northern Catalpa; Juglans cinerea - Tulip Tree; and Acer saccharum - Sugar Maple) next to sidewalks and driveways, but need to know if they have ...
view the full question and answer

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