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This coming spring I plan on trying to fertalize some oak trees in the area I hunt in an attempt to make them produce more acorns. The oaks on the land we hunt just dont produce too many any more.

My question is what kind of fertalizer would you recommend, how much, and when and how often should I apply it? I have read about this idea in North American Whitetail in the past but I dont remember if they gave any specifics.

The soil is fairly sandy. The oaks are mature white oaks. Any input or info would be greatly appreciated.:)
 

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Are your oaks close together? If the tops of the trees are touching one another, they may need some thinning. If the tops of the trees have room to spread out, they'll produce more acorns. Some years they'll produce more than other years. I've heard it recommended to rake all the leaves away from the tree out to the dripline(as far as the branches reach out). Some folks put lime on the ground and fertilize too. I'm not sure the amount or type of fertilizer that is recommended for oaks.
 

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You want to get a soil sample and have it tested. There is a group that will do the test and make suggestions on what to use based on what you are looking to accomplish. It used to be calld the Soil Conservation Service and was part of the County, can't think of what they changed the name to. Might check with your County Extension Service or Farm Bureau office.
 

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Get rid of any competing trees that may be shading your oaks.

Fertilize by punching holes in the ground around the drip line and fill with a balanced fertilizer such as 12-12-12, 13-13-13 or even 19-19-19. Buy it in 50# bags at your local farm supply. It's much cheaper than at a landscape nursery.

I use a pinch bar to poke the holes in the ground in the spring, it works best when the soil is real wet. I've also used a hammer drill with a 1 1/4" bit to fertilize my apple trees where I live. That's mush easier but you have to have access to electricity and a heavy duty hammer drill with bits.

BTW it may not be a problem with lack of fertilizer. We've had late frosts the last few years and it may be killing the flowers on your trees. I've also heard about an oak blite.
 

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I assume you are referring to a white oak. If not, there are a dozen species of oaks that I know of off-hand, each with their own unique growth patterns, production yeild/frequency, maturity rates, height, etc., including: sawtooth, bur, red, swamp, nutall, shumard, water, will, chinkapin, pin, turkey, cherry bark.
 

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I have heard a lot of good advise so far. The main one is to open the area around the tree to allow the canopy to spread and eliminate other non-desired species around the oaks.
The other thing you want to remember when it comes to preference by the deer, white oak is tops with red oaks next. If you can try to select your white oaks over your reds. The main thing to remember is to eliminate other competition and allow the canopy to spread. there are books out there that will list the species of trees and preference by deer so that you can manage other species also.
 

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Late spring frost is a major cause of poor acorn yield. Here in hells neck holler in KY the acorn yield from oaks has been poor for several yrs due to late frost. The white oaks predominate here and can be an annual producer, while red oaks require 2 yrs to fruit. Fertilizing can help increase yield, but only if ma nature cooperates.
 

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drought is a big reason that oaks produce small acorns alot of years. it's not impossible to hand drive a shallow well in some places. then purchase a small electric pump and borrow a buddies generator. or you may already own one. a large tree will use many hundreds of gallons of water. lime usually takes a year to see any benefit. a soil sample testing is cheap and lets you know exactly what the soil lacks. good luck.
 

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Originally posted by Luv2hunteup
Get rid of any competing trees that may be shading your oaks.

Fertilize by punching holes in the ground around the drip line and fill with a balanced fertilizer such as 12-12-12, 13-13-13 or even 19-19-19. Buy it in 50# bags at your local farm supply. It's much cheaper than at a landscape nursery.

-snip
Actually, I read an article over the weekend that says to use a 1-2-3 multiple fertilizer on mature trees to promote fruit/nut production. Seems the nitrogen goes mostly to producing canopy.
 
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