Oak Tree: How to Grow and Care Guide

Al Ardh Alkhadra > Blog > Gardening > Oak Tree: How to Grow and Care Guide

oak tree

Do you know that Oak Tree is one of the most popular and easily recognizable plants in the forests and is beautiful in your yard settings?

However, taking care of them requires more than just tossing some acorns around and hoping for them to grow.

The overall oak tree population is dwindling and is largely due to acorns and oak saplings serving as meals for wildlife.

Unfortunately, when acorns and saplings are eaten and do not get a chance to grow, you will end up seeing lesser oak trees that have been around for centuries.

You can help the tree recover its former glory by starting and planting oak tree seedlings following the instructions in this article.

Keep on reading to learn more.

Oak Tree

Oaks have a reputation for being hard to transplant successfully.

This is especially true if you are looking for instant gratification.

And attempt to plant them that are not too big, or a potted oak that is too old.

Oak trees tend to develop huge root systems which grow quickly while they are young.

oak tree 1

And this is one of the reasons why oaks are so good at protecting watersheds and topsoil.

In order to transplant oaks that are several feet tall, you have to prune them nearly to death.

However, if it survives the transplant, it will grow very little for years to come as it will try to develop new roots.

Moreover, the oak trees that you planted as acorns or young saplings catch up and pass 15-foot transplants in just a few years.

Large oak transplants are expensive, and often cost thousands of dollars for a tree with a 50% chance of dying in the first year.

Potted Oak Tree

Oak trees in pots face similar problems.

These trees grow so fast that in pots they can become root-bound in a single season.

In a pot, oak trees can have 5 feet-tall root bounds, with a high probability of choking themselves to death once in the ground.

Trees that have successful root prunings when moved to larger containers will have.

However, a good chance of surviving.

But it will not be as vigorous as the trees that you plant directly from an acorn.

Moreover, oaks have a reputation for slow growth.

Many landscape professionals are of the view that you should not plant oaks as they will not live long enough for you to enjoy them.

This, however, is hardly the case.

The good news is that problems like transplant difficulties, root-bound plants, and expenses, you can avoid all if you plant oaks when they are small.

How to Grow an Oak Tree?

In order to grow an oak tree, follow the steps below:

Choose the Location Wisely

Though some species remain small even when they mature, for instance, dwarf chestnut oaks, most of these will become large trees much faster.

Therefore, before planting them, choose the location wisely.

Start Small

Plant n acorn or small seedling is the best way to go.

You can collect acorns as soon as they fall from the tree.

Acorns are species in the white oak group that germinate right away during the fall.

So you will have to plant them immediately.

They will send a radicle or embryonic root straight down into the soil and spend the winter this way.

During spring, the young plant will shoot up towards the sun.

Acorns from the red oak, however, will wait until the spring to germinate.

Thus, you can store them through the winter with a little bit of soil in a plastic bag, sealing them, and refrigerating them.

oak tree 2

Fertilizing Oaks

Oaks tend to adapt to soils with low nitrogen.

Doses of fertilizer can trigger rapid growths that split the bark or stimulate lush leaf growth that is prone to insect infestation.

Use the Right Soil

In case you are worrying that your soil is poor, you can inoculate the planting site with a little soil.

And litter from an already established oak of the same species.

This will help to introduce the mycorrhizae species that help in nutrient exchange in the oaks.

Create Planting Hole

You can make the hole wide, however, do not make it deep.

The most common source of transplant mortality is from planting a tree below the root line.

A lot of people dig a deep hole and backfill it to the appropriate depth.

However, the loose soil at the bottom of the hole usually settles a few inches, just enough to sink your tree into the danger zone.

Thus, make sure to dig your hole no deeper than the root ball of the tree.

If you lif to dig, make the hole wide, but not deep.

Mulch right away

Mulching your oak with oak leaves works well, however, do not build a pile of mulch next to the truck, as it may cause trunk rot.

Caring for an Oak Tree

The name ‘mighty oak’ tree is not just about the size of these trees.

They are actually pretty robust plants that can withstand a variety of conditions.

Because of this, they are relatively low-maintenance tres after you plant them and they grow several feet.

If you want to give your oak tree the optimal growing chance, there are a few care tips you should keep in mind.

First, it is important to note that oak trees tend to do best in areas that experience different seasons.

This will help to give them the moisture they need, as well as the right temperature for growth and development.

caring for them

Moreover, if you have dry summers and moist winters in your region, you will have the perfect environment for an oak tree.

However, if you are experiencing dry winters, you will need to supplement them by watering your oaks heavily in the spring.

Furthermore, you can also water them once or twice if you are experiencing an especially dry summer.

But more often than not, nature will take care of everything your tree will need.

Additionally, watering them is important to give them enough room to breathe and grow.

If you want to plant anything around your tree, it is best to choose drought-resistant plants.

And keep them at least six feet away from the base of the tree itself.

Also, adding a few inches of mulch around the tree will also keep it from drying out and limit weeds from growing up around it.

If they do, these can steal essential plant nutrients from the tree, making it more susceptible to rot or issues with growing properly.

Pruning Oaks

When you see a live oak tree or standard oak tree in a natural wooded area, you may see that do no prunings or trimmings.

However, if you are growing them in your backyard, pruning them annually can be beneficial for them.

Not only will it help to control their size and shape, but it can also help get rid of the branches that may have a disease.

Doing so can help improve the overall health of your oak, but pruning will help slow the growth.

You should, however, only trim a branch when it has a disease or is dead.


Moreover, trimming away branches completely, especially, those that face the sun, can cause damage to the interior of the tree.

If you do choose to prune your tree. it is important to do it at the right time.

Make sure to never prune them between March-July.

Doing so can make them more susceptible to insect infestation.

Including the dreaded bark beetles that can destroy your tree and cause a fungal infection to occur.

Inspect your Tree Regularly

Though oaks are fairly resilient and low maintenance, it is always a good idea to check on them periodically to make sure they are healthy.

Regular checkups can help to make sure proper growth and limit the risk of a disease that may spread throughout the tree.

You do not need to be a specialist to monitor the health of your oak tree.

Do a quick check of the leaves and the bark.

And as you know what the bark should look like, for both white and red oaks, any type of discoloration.

Or bark that has come loose from the tree can be a sign of disease.

However, seeing patches of discoloration does not mean that your oak will surely die.

In some cases, you may be able to remove the affected area without impacting the rest of your tree.

Removing small, infected areas, can help save the oak and prevent any further damage.

Moreover, if you are not sure about how you can regularly inspect the tree, you can work with a specialized gardener.

Doing so will help to clear any confusion about what to look out for.

And they can also give you even more practical advice on how to care for your tree.

Why should you plant an Oak Tree?

While you may find planting an oak tree, difficult, that is not necessarily the case.

Once you plant them and are grown enough not to be threatened by wildlife, they are easy to care for.

Not only these trees are beautiful, but there are also a number of benefits to planting them.

First, they are beneficial for hundreds of varieties of moths and butterflies.

Second, they provide support for songbirds, due to the number of insects that can make a home on the bark.

Moreover, their acorns are a great natural food source for animals.

While you may find it a little annoying when trying to grow a new oak, a fully grown one a plenty of acorns for new trees to grow and feed wildlife.

In case you are worrying about not seeing the rewards of planting an oak tree, that is not always true.

Not all oak trees will take hundreds of years to grow.

For instance, Pin Oak can grow over two feet each year.

An average white oak tree will grow about a foot each year.

On the other hand, red oak will grow a bit slower.

However, planting a variety of oaks will allow you to watch them grow and thrive and change each year.

Moreover, oak trees are important to an ecosystem. With proper care, you can successfully grow them in your yard.

The biggest challenge, however, is the initial acorn planting and seedling stage.

It is just a matter of keeping the sapling safe, but once it grows several feet tall, you can breathe a sigh of releif.

No matter what type of oak you choose to plant, you will enjoy the beautiful colors and relaxing shade for years to come.

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