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Thursday - September 23, 2010

From: New Orleans, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Grafting Shumard Oak to Decrease Acorn Bearing Age in New Orleans
Answered by: Mike Tomme


Can a Shumard Oak that is bearing acorns (30 yrs. old)be grafted to a seedling in order to decrease the bearing of the tree in a similar manner as grafting pecan trees? Can it be propagated by any method that decreases the acorn bearing age? I am a Louisiana citrus grower.


As a citrus grower, I'm sure you have a lot more experience with grafting than Mr. Smarty Plants. My bag (can you guess my age from that) is native plants and native plants don't graft. Nonetheless, my interest was piqued and I poked around a little.

I was not able to locate any sources that discuss manipulating acorn production by grafting. I can certainly understand why you would be interested in decreasing the acorn bearing age since, according to the USDA'a web siteQuercus shumardii (Shumard oak) has a minimum seed bearing age of 25 years.

Grafting of oak trees is certainly possible. Here is a site explaining how it is done: How to Graft Oak Trees. There is a brief discussion in a University of British Columbia Botanical Garden Forum about grafting red oaks,which would include Quercus shumardii. One contributor is of the opinion that grafting does not work well within the red oak group.

Give your idea a try and see how it turns out.


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