up in oak

I have something else I want to talk about just because I’m sort of impressed by how things have gone… Another’s improbable journey to success without really trying (much).

I have a fetish for acorns and trying to grow saplings. I’ll admit that right now and you could probably search this blog and find other posts talking about it. I’ve tried pines before, to no avail, but after messing with laurel oak acorns the last 2 years I can say I can germinate a oak sapling pretty far. The only issue that comes up in the end is where the hell should it be planted? Who wants it?

Case in point, I grabbed one acorn from a neighborhood oak tree just a block from my house last fall on an impulse… This was November or December. It hadn’t fallen off the tree yet and was still green… I decided to take a chance and stuck the acorn in a six inch pot… I didn’t make a big thing about trying to get the acorn to germinate and when it didn’t emerge in a short timespan from the pot, I started to write the plant off entirely. I placed it on a shelf outside my house and let nature take it’s course. It’ll happen or it won’t.

Yet January came around and a small sapling germinated from the soil. Pleased, I took care of that little sucker and by the time March rolled around, I decided to take another chance with the plant and move it into a new pot. A large pot at that – 2 gallons. From a six inch pot to two gallons seemed like an improbable jump as I’ve never tried it before. That’s another reason I did it. To hell with the risk. The potting soil I used wasn’t store bought — well, it WAS regular, store bought potting soil but it came from plants that had died around my home. Waste not, want not and all that.

I transplanted the young sapling — three inches tall at most — and presumed I had put it at risk because the soil could be contaminated or filled with bugs or something.,.. I didn’t write this tree off but again – I hadn’t put it’s best foot forward in my decision making and was careless.

Or was I?

It’s late August now and the sapling in question stands nearly 30″ tall in that 2 gallon pot. With it’s size, I know it needs either a permanent home or another pot upgrade ASAP and yet I am shocked and thrilled alone at how well this plant took off. I’ve never had an oak sapling take so well, and there is a need for a tree in my yard (as we cut down an Indian Rosewood last year that was a nuisance – and remains so in it’s role as a stump that won’t die). I’ve talked to family about planting it out in front of my house and they are receptive to the idea though not jumping up and down at the concept. It’s still a little shit plant and still needs to develop… but it’s a risk worth taking if someone wanted this thing and to plant it in a permanent home now.

30 inches and another “expansion” sprout on the way. I’m thrilled… And I’m thinking I need to buy some potting soil to try this again with another acorn this fall.

2 Comments to up in oak

  1. Sarah says:

    If you decide to plant it in your yard, just make sure you get a little fence-thing to protect it from lawn mowing oopsies. I’ve seen two saplings chopped in my yard because of this. It’s especially at risk if the person mowing is disgruntled, not paying much attention to what they’re doing because they don’t like doing it, or are on a riding lawn mower.

    You might be able to keep it potted a bit longer. We have one of those little norfolk pines (I think) that’s an indoor little tree, and it’s in a 2-3 gallon pot, but it’s almost 4 feet tall. It does very well there.