Oak seedling winter care

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Habitat' started by uofmball1, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. on a call

    on a call

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    Next year you might try this ?
     
  2. on a call

    on a call

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    Sheck out the above post...you have a good thing going...why not make it GREAT :)
     
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  3. Wild Thing

    Wild Thing

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    Very much agree with Steven J and On a Call that these are very worthwhile projects for including kids and family....heck I get just as excited as a kid doing it myself.

    Collected these acorns from a wild Red Oak up in the Keweenaw Peninsula while we were up there on an ATV color tour a few years ago. Put them in the barn fridge for the winter and planted them in these Rootmaker Cells in the spring...

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    A couple of them died when I was out of town for a while and they didn't get watered but just look at the root growth in these air-root pruning cells:

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    From acorn to this in less than 5 weeks:

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    As pictured in my post on page 1, I stepped them up to the 1 gallon Root Maker pots in the fall. Should have mulched around them or buried the pots for winter (or just planted and tubed them in the fall) which cost me when I didn't, but those that survived have done very well since. Plant them where you want them, tube and cage them and eventually they will be producing acorns on their own.

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    A word of caution...if you plant them in your lawn areas where they are going to get a lot of sun, you may be regretting it when they start dropping acorns - LOL. My wife is giving me the raspberries about my choice of planting locations now. Do plant them where they will get plenty of sun....but maybe not on your lawn where you will be cleaning up acorns for the rest of your life :)

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    Best of luck with your new Oak Tree. Hopefully the wildlife (and maybe a deer hunter) will be thanking you for it even 150 years from now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  4. uofmball1

    uofmball1

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    My wife found this on the beach and brought it home as a project. My kids are 4 and so we planted it in the pot and they helped make sure it was watered all summer. Not much time wasted doing that. This spring Ill have to dig it up and let my kids decide where they want to plant their tree. Again not much time wasted. I enjoy planting trees especially now that my kids can help. trees1.jpg trees2.jpg trees3.jpg
     
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  5. Wild Thing

    Wild Thing

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    Good for you Dad! Get those future Conservationists going while they are still young! Thumbs up!
     
  6. on a call

    on a call

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    If they are dropping now...deer can eat them now :).

    One advantage to having those in your yard is that you can harvest those nuts and might even sell them ?? Or better yet, start them and sell the seedlings ?? ;) Win win...tell the wife ! :)
     
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  7. on a call

    on a call

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    PS .... Harbor Freight sells a acorn collector
     
  8. JimP

    JimP Hunter gatherer Premium Member

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    Easiest way for us is lightly leaf blow away leaves and twigs from their thickest area then to rake them onto a 8' x 10' tarp.
    Blow them again to rid of any more debris and two people pick up the tarp sides and pour them into gunny or corn sacks.
     
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  9. Martin Looker

    Martin Looker

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    If you put the acorns in a container the little grubs in them will chew out into the container and you will have this winter's blue gill bait.
     
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  10. stickman1978

    stickman1978

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    2 for 1. You sound like me. When I plant trees or do garden work I collect the worms. Put them in a large container in the shade and have bait for the summer.
     
  11. Martin Looker

    Martin Looker

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    If I am going to pick up all of those acorns and some have grubs I might as well put them to work.
     
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  12. B.Jarvinen

    B.Jarvinen Premium Member

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    So I am bumping this thread because I figure mostly people with some experience and inclination to grow a few Oaks from acorns will be reading this. I want to give away some acorns but only to people who will actually grow them, not just “have always thought I should try that.” It ultimately is cheaper in your time and energy to just buy a few Oak seedlings from your Conservation District tree sale than to start up a new esoteric hobby.

    But none of those tree sales will be offering this species:

    Quercus ellipsoidalis

    This is most commonly called “Pin Oak” where it grows in miscellaneous areas of Michigan, though it is not the Pin Oak more well known with a broad range east of the Mississippi and north to about Lansing in MI. That one is a very good wildlife & wetland species known as Quercus palustris.

    Q. ellipsoidalis is perhaps the toughest of all Oaks. It can grow on sand and gravel where even bracken fern can’t survive. A common associate for it is Jack Pine. It also has a cold hardiness out to the edges of possible life for Oak as with Bur Oak and Red Oak, with a slightly farther out there range than Red Oak.

    It is not an attractive Oak if not maintained - a 20 year old specimen probably retains it’s now shaded out twigs from year 2 as it refuses to let go of dead branches on its own. Though if those are pruned it can be quite nice on a landscaped site as it does have an appealing red color to the leaves in the fall. Some botanists consider it a type of Scarlet Oak. The reality is that the genetics of the Red/Black Oak group of trees are highly intertwined anyway.

    The upsides of this species are that it has very tough site tolerances and grows a small acorn of use to a few more animal species than Oaks with bigger acorns. Ellipsoidalis acorns can run to over 250 / pound. It is always best to diversify the amount of food sources for wildlife as much as possible as some sources fail each year.

    As it turns out this year I have a bit more of these than anyone is willing to grow commercially as demand for it is pretty light, comparatively.

    If you want to try growing a few of these I will send you 25 of the acorns. That’s not really enough for a casual “direct seeding” attempt. I do wish to keep any excess to enjoy feeding them to the Jays and Crows myself this winter. If you have a large patch of sand that you want to seed I could help you with that as a commercial project though it would need to be done quite soon. Overall however I have a very busy 2 weeks in front of me and don’t really look to take on new projects right now.

    What do I want for the 25 acorns? Simply this: each year I seek to survey tree seed crops in ALL parts of Michigan. So I always start or participate in a thread about acorn crop levels here on this forum. I ask simply that you participate in those threads in years to come. I can also use leads on locations of good cone crops on conifer species. That information I am only interested in around July or so, when current year cones are generally a bright green and obvious on the tree. I am not interested in last years cones and going to a site to hear “I don’t know what happened, this tree always has cones on it.”

    I would also note that if you have a Jack Pine property that doesn’t mean you can only grow this species on it. Red, Bur, Black, and even White Oak can be highly tolerant of poor conditions as well though to establish some of those where they are not already growing takes a little more careful care of planted specimens via careful watering, mulching, and perhaps a little fertilizing. I would not stray from those four species (& Q. ellipsoidalis) on a Jack Pine type site however as cold tolerance can not be defeated well via simple maintenance. These acorns are a mix of 2 site sources in SW Baraga & Dickinson counties, both quite cold areas of MI with ‘continental’ weather rather than Great Lakes influenced climate.


    So if you would carefully plant 25 Quercus ellipsoidalis acorns send me an address via PM and I will send them to you.
     
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  13. StevenJ

    StevenJ Inscrutable Mastermind Premium Member

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    " I can also use leads on locations of good cone crops on conifer species. That information I am only interested in around July or so, when current year cones are generally a bright green and obvious on the tree."

    What is your interest in this? I have two squares of jack pines in S.E. Ingham county that were planted a good 40 years ago. I don't know anything about them and I never pay attention to them. So tell me more about them. Are you interested in them and talk about them for habitat?

    And thanks for the comment about the pin oaks. It is my understanding that they indeed are pretty robust after they take off growing. And that in contrast with other oaks, they drop acorns more often that the others.

    IDK, but the burr and swamp oaks drop every three years or so. The Whites and Reds every two or so. But I think a mature pin oak may drop every year and have heavier drops every two years.

    I called my mother in Toledo today and told her to send me some acorns. She didn't take inventory or know if the squirrels got them all, but she's had some older mature pin oaks in her front yard for perhaps 30 years.
     
  14. B.Jarvinen

    B.Jarvinen Premium Member

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    A “Pin” Oak in Toledo is probably a Quercus palustris. Though there is Oak Savanna type habitat just to the west of Toledo where some Q. ellipsoidalis might be found, most of the Toledo area has heavier soils, not the sandy soils where one can find this tree. Q. palustris is also a very commonly planted tree in landscapes as it has a very pleasing form with the most perfectly horizontal branches of any Oak species, a nice smooth bark and a clean ‘habit’ - it self-prunes it’s dead branches like a Red Oak does.

    I don’t have a lot of experience with that Pin Oak; it does well in plantings in northern Michigan in terms of growth but trees outside their native range set seed far less frequently.


    Q. ellipsoidalis sets a good crop occasionally. As a tree of dry sites also with low soil fertility, it probably takes a little longer for it to build up reserves for a large acorn crop. Many areas in the eastern half of the northern Lower Peninsula where it grows had a bad gypsy moth outbreak this year, which canceled any chance at a crop this year and probably next. Trees in the U.P. weren’t hit with that. I haven’t been able to collect this species since about 2016.


    I am interested in all conifer crops as I collect tree seed for nurseries. I am nearing 40 bushels of Norway Spruce so far this season, for example. That should produce about 30 pounds of seed which should in turn create maybe 1.5 million seedlings. It won’t be enough to meet demand.

    There is a massive shortage of Red Pine seed in the USA right now and I will be focusing on that extensively in the years to come.


    Jack Pine is an interesting tree with a large range in North America. It too can handle extremely dry sandy sites. But it is less likely to grow a sawlog quality stem and land managers generally only manage for it where the soils give them no other choice. It is a good choice for planting a very dry site; after one generation of Jack Pine soils can be re-built enough for other species to become established.
     
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  15. StevenJ

    StevenJ Inscrutable Mastermind Premium Member

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    Nice info.

    It is probably a Q.Palustrus. Very upright. Very stately over time.

    But does that matter. I have heavy clay soils and never had anything not grow well.

    My parent's Toledo trees were planted, not volunteers. The were kind of fast, kind of productive and long lasting.

    And I think you are referring to to the Oak Savannas northwest of Toleda and a park called Oak Openings.