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Author Topic: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?  (Read 8054 times)

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Offline pappy19

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How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« on: October 24, 2009, 12:19:12 PM »
So I haven't been around hardwoods for many years, and I may have known the answer to that question, but long forgotten. I saw a statistic yesterday saying that an oak tree must be around 50 years old before it starts producing acorns. Is that a true statement or close to it? Thanks-

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Offline locustoak

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2009, 04:57:25 PM »
I heard that before as well, but it's not true.  My parents planted some white oak seedlings years ago.  It took about 20 years before they had their first acorn crop.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2009, 06:17:22 PM »
It's been about 20 years for my white oak to flower, but only 15 years for my red oak. They are viable seed and I and the squirrels have germinated a good many off the one red oak. The white oak has not produced pollen yet.
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Offline woodtroll

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2009, 07:55:12 PM »
Depends on the tree sp and growing conditions. I have seen some as fast as 10 years plenty around 15.

Offline Phorester

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2009, 10:27:14 PM »

50 years is way off the mark.  A rule of thumb the VA DOF uses is 15 years for both red and white oak families.  With the exceptiion of sawtooth oak, which can start producing them in 5 - 10 years or so.
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 08:08:16 PM »
Ditto! I've seen them as early as 5 years also.
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Offline letemgrow

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2009, 10:56:06 PM »
Hybrid white oaks can start as soon as 5 years, dwarf chinkapin oaks can start as early as 2 years old.  Under normal conditions, 20 years is the rule for acorn production.   

Offline Magicman

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2009, 09:28:19 AM »
Growing up, I always heard the "old folks" say 25 years.  Now I'm "old folks"....... :D
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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2009, 09:51:52 AM »
We probably have to separate open grown from forest grown. ;)
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Offline pappy19

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2009, 12:24:09 PM »
We probably have to separate open grown from forest grown. ;)



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Offline letemgrow

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 10:07:38 AM »
We probably have to separate open grown from forest grown. ;)


Very good point, forest grown trees are more than likely 50+ years to produce if there is a lot of competition.  Open grown trees will be 20 or less for pure species in good growing conditions.  Hybrids can be much much faster though and 5 years is not out of the question there. 

Offline Magicman

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2009, 02:35:47 PM »
I didn't get pictures, but we set out two live oaks in '06 after Katrina.  They were about 4' high (age...?).  One of them had about a dozen acorns on it this year.
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Offline Brian Beauchamp

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2009, 12:33:52 AM »
Hybrid white oaks can start as soon as 5 years, dwarf chinkapin oaks can start as early as 2 years old.  Under normal conditions, 20 years is the rule for acorn production.   

...pretty much 'ditto' on what Phil said here. I've seen pin oaks in our area produce in as little as 10 years as well.

Offline ladylake

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2009, 07:09:30 AM »
 I cut a dieing one on my yard that sent up some little ones off the stump that had huge acorns when they were 3" tall . They must have thought they were a old tree.   Steve
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Offline Magicman

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2009, 09:18:09 AM »
had huge acorns when they were 3" tall    Steve 

Three inches......boy they did think that they were "grown up"........ :D :D :D
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Offline letemgrow

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2009, 01:09:12 PM »
I believe that when an oak is going to kick the bucket, that stimulates them to put on a lot of acorns.  The big root system having only small sprouts to feed could be another cause of them to have acorns so small. 

Offline Magicman

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2009, 01:20:35 PM »
I believe that when an oak is going to kick the bucket, that stimulates them to put on a lot of acorns.  The big root system having only small sprouts to feed could be another cause of them to have acorns so small. 

Yes, I've seen that happen before.  Seems like when they are stressed, they put forth a big effort to reproduce.

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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2009, 12:49:10 AM »
Sawtooth oak is one of the oak species that produces acorns in 4-5 years where other species may be 20-30 years. It is a species of white oak being favored for wildlife.

http://www.nwtf.org/conservation/bulletins/bulletin_08.pdf
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Offline ladylake

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Re: How old for oak trees to start acorn production?
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2009, 06:47:59 AM »
had huge acorns when they were 3" tall    Steve 

Three inches......boy they did think that they were "grown up"........ :D :D :D

   Sorry. I meant 3'  tall, but they were real short to have those big acorns.   Steve
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