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Author Topic: How to transplant oak seedling?  (Read 16338 times)

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Offline Brad_bb

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How to transplant oak seedling?
« on: September 11, 2013, 11:59:56 AM »
So I have a couple oak seedlings this year.  I'm afraid to try to dig them for transplant because this has not been totally successful in the past.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Is it better to wait until fall when it is dormant?  Would it be better to use a hose to wash the dirt (flood) away from the roots and then replant it right away?  What's going to give me the best rate of success?

I have a lot of success digging Black Walnut soon after the seedling sprouts as long as the tap root has not had enough time to get long.  If you cut the tap root, it's dead.  Walnut seems to be very hearty when I transplant, but Oak not as much.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 12:03:24 PM »
As easy and fast as oaks will grow from a good acorn, why not just plant acorns where you want to grow the oak?  I have oak seedlings two feet tall already where I had mowed everything off the day before the pigroast. That's only been about 6 weeks.   To transplant an oak seedling, you need to get that long tap root, and they are usually real long.
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Offline WDH

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 10:39:35 PM »
Wait until dormant.  Do not wash the soil off the roots.  Get as big a root ball as possible. 
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2013, 02:13:54 AM »
I've been transplanting Black Walnut seedlings to the back pasture for a number of years.  The grass grows tall there(and in full sun) and I've put just acorns before and nothing came of them.  the same is generally true of the Walnuts too.  I only get a 30 to 50 percent germination rate.  But when I plant acorns here next to the house, and when the squirrels plan the walnuts,  they do come up consistently.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2013, 08:35:12 AM »
Are you stratifying the acorns before you try and plant them?
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Offline woodtech

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 02:28:14 PM »
Do you sort the good and bad acorns?  Just started collecting acorns here.  Throw them in a bucket if water; throw away the ones that float, and keep the ones that sink.   
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Offline beenthere

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 02:54:39 PM »
At a WI Field Days a seversl years ago, our DNR had a demo planting acorns. The idea they were touting was to gather them soon after they fell and get them in the ground as soon as possible. They operated under the plan that of the many planted, enough would grow. They had a planter shown in this pic
Have visited the site a few times, and a pretty good stand of oak were there.
 
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2013, 07:11:47 PM »
Grass usually isn't the trouble with acorns, it's the varmits that live in the grass. I planted a bunch of red oak acorns in the old garden and they germinated like weeds. The mice moved in, as they do in grass, and have eaten the bark off or chewed off most. There are a few left, which is plenty enough for me, and now well enough established that the mice don't bother them now. I probably planted a scrub pale full of nuts back in 2001.

Never had much luck transplanting trees in the fall in this region. They do much better before bud break in the spring. They tend to mostly dry out like a stick when fall planting. Even forestry planting up here is all spring time and early summer if you want survival. I've hand planted many trees, thousands. ;D
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2013, 02:49:54 AM »
That's a big word Jeff, but I know enough to use green acorns right as they fall, but not ones that have been on the ground. 
Those tend to get a small hole bored in them by a small worm or beetle and the larvae will eat the acorn and it will never germinate.  I plant them right away so that nothing will get to them.  I assume this is what you mean by stratify- to separate the good ones from the bad ones.  I can do it pretty well without the water/bucket thing as long as I get them green right before they are ready to fall from the tree. 
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2013, 03:20:06 AM »
No, stratifying means they need to go through a cold spell to break dormancy. But stratifying in itself is a method to preserve seed by storing in layers of soil, peat or other material. This can be done by refrigeration and layers of wet paper towel. However, big seed does not store very well for very long. The dormancy thing would be red oak mainly, but if your far enough north your white oak may require it to. I know our northern bur oak needs a cold spell the break dormancy. White oak in the warmer areas, generally don't. They'll germinate in the fall. But as far as the stratifying, plant them right away and let winter handle it. And yes, float them first to cull the bad ones.

What I did with my red oak was to scarify the ground in the garden, then broadcast the seed. I then raked a layer of soil over them followed by sugar maple leaves on top. The leaves hold moisture in spring and rot away quick to so the seed can emerge easily up through it.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2013, 03:51:22 AM »
By picking the good nuts, and planting them straight away you get good results because they naturally stratify in the soil over winter. Bit of frost and snow on the ground is what they need to encourage them to germinate, and by burying them right away they are safe from most bugs and acorn eating critters.

I think the natural process is that a lot of acorns are buried as winter food by critters, but they don't find them all again, so a percentage those "plantings" are left to germinate? You are just acting as the chipmunk in this case.  :D

If you want to store them inside and plant them in the spring, then you use the stratifying techniques, like storing them in damp paper in the fridge for a few months. If they don't get that cold time, they don't respond properly to the spring warmth and germinate.

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Offline pmcgover

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2013, 08:12:19 AM »
I have planted English and Burr Oak over the years.  I like to gather the nuts fresh, put in water, throw away the floaters, then plant 1" deep in a 3' wide, tilled, well drained loamy garden soil, then cover with a 3" layer of leaves.  I have just created a honey-pot for the squirrel critters so I nail together a frame of 2x6's to cover the edge of your planting then nail some chicken wire fencing over the top of the frame.

You should be able to remove or raise the frame in the Summer if the shoots push through the frame cover.  During the dormant season, you can lift the seedlings by using a sharp and long square edged spade to cut the roots - giving a 10" or 12" root or so.  I prefer to grow the seedlings in the garden for another year or 2 but always re-planting the tree each year to avoid an unmanageable tap root.

Here are pics of my nursery spade that cuts and lifts deep rooted trees nicely: NOTE FROM ADMIN: OFF SITE PHOTOS ARE NOT ALLOWED


Offline beenthere

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2013, 10:16:50 AM »
Quote
but I know enough to use green acorns right as they fall, but not ones that have been on the ground. 
Those tend to get a small hole bored in them by a small worm or beetle and the larvae will eat the acorn and it will never germinate. 

brad
Those worms, I believe, are in the nut before they fall from the tree. It is a nut weevil that lays the egg in the green nut awhile before they fall. Same weevil plagues the hickory nuts as the acorns.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2013, 05:48:37 PM »
Yep, I do my stratifying naturally.  I have figured the best success is to get the ripe acorn and plant it right away to protect it from bugs and critters.  I planted a bunch of acorns last week in a tilled section of my side yard.  When I come across an oak that I like this time of year I'll grab a few acorns from it to plant.  Last week I planted some acorns about an inch below the surface of some small plastic pots and buried the pots about an inch below the soil  surface, so the acorn are about 2-3 inches deep.  This should help with transplanting next season as long as they germinate alright.  I still have a bunch I'd like to transplant that are not in small pots, which was the reason for my original question.  At WDH suggested, I think I'll wait until dormant and try to transplant.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline routestep

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Re: How to transplant oak seedling?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 04:07:49 PM »
I know this is an old post but here is what I did in the past.

I use to buy one or two year old oak seedlings from an outfit in Indiana.

They would dig the seedlings up when the workers could get into the beds in the early spring. Then ship them to me. I had pretty good survival rate.

So my guess would be for you to do the same, dig them up in the spring and transplant them then.

I have to say I wish I had your success with walnuts. I bought ten last year and three to them didn't make it through the spring. We had a late frost and their leaves got burned. This spring I'll see how many I have left.

I stratify acorns in damp sand in the refrigerator, down low and out of sight, through the winter. In the spring I plants the ones that are germinating.

 


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