Q. Can oak trees be grown from acorns?
Yes they can! But the procedure for germinating acorns depends on whether they come from oaks in the white oak family or red oak family.
White oaks (e.g. white oak, English oak, chestnut oak) have leaves with distinctly rounded lobes, whereas red oaks (northern red oak, black oak, blackjack oak and pin oak) generally have sharply pointed lobes. White oak acorns should be collected from the ground in the fall and planted immediately. Alternatively, the acorns can be stored in plastic bags in a cold place until spring.
Red oak acorns require a process called "stratification"--moist chilling--before they can germinate. After washing off any debris, mix the acorns with a moist growing medium and store them in a sealed plastic bag at 33-41°F (refrigerator temperature) for at least 4-8 weeks before planting outside in the spring.
After planting the acorns, be patient; it will take 10-12 years or so to get an oak that is 10 ft. high!
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service