Acorn Season 2018

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by Fishman, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Fishman

    Fishman Member

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    So who is ready for acorn season 2018? I checked my notes and this sawtooth started dropping acorns on August 16 last year, so it should not be long before I am collecting more acorns and other seeds.

    [​IMG]

    I checked a couple of swamp chestnut oaks and white oaks today. The swamp chestnut oak that I collected most of my acorns from last year doesn’t look loaded this year. The acorns from this tree have really produced some nice seedlings that I will be planting later this year. One is topping 40”, while there are a handful over 35” and another twenty or so over 30”. It is hard to believe that these trees were acorns earlier this year. It should be a good year for the collection of white oak acorns. One tree is really loaded.

    I direct seeded over a thousand acorns last year and while I have some seedlings growing from the effort, I think I am going to change my methods this year. I used a dibble bar and planted every acorn last year. The squirrels really enjoyed all my hard work, but they did forget about a few of the ones that they dug up and then reburied. I am going to try and put piles of acorns out over the course of several mornings and let the squirrels plant them for me. They will eat some and I am sure other critters will eat some, but my effort will be a lot less than dragging a dibble bar around dropping acorns in the holes. Has anyone ever tried letting squirrels plant the acorns for you?

    I used some RootMaker trays this year and have decided that it is just too hot here in the south for them. I have to water the trees every day and that can really cut into your ability to travel or take a vacation. I have had the best success with a raised bed. I only have to water it once a week if I have to water it at all. The care and maintenance on the bed is a lot less than the RootMaker trays.

    I had good success trading seeds on the nut/seed exchange last year and I am looking forward to acquiring some more this year. I screwed up trying to stratify my chestnuts this year, but a member kindly sent me several hundred pre-stratified chestnuts in June. Thanks Roy. This is a great forum and I look forward to someone starting the nut/seed exchange 2018 thread.
     
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  2. g squared 23

    g squared 23 Active Member

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    I've had poor luck with the rootmaker trays also, but mostly because of ground squirrels. It's like a buffet line for them.

    Have a burr oak on my block that normally has a heavy crop but looks so-so this year. Squirrels start drilling it in August and it's done by September.

    [​IMG]


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  3. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
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    I’m ready for oak planting season myself. Last year I traded some coneflower seeds for sawtooth acorns, and had great survival. Direct seeded white oaks last fall, germinated red oak species on my back porch and planted them at the first leaf stage-I grew them in paper towel tubes, and transplanted them as the taproot was emerging from the bottom of the tube. Dug a hole with a bulb auger, caged them and had nearly 100% success. Chinquapin, white oak,swamp white, red oak, bur oak all worked with this method.


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  4. Fishman

    Fishman Member

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    I am going to need a visual or better description on the paper towel tube method of growing seedlings. Can you share photos of what you did? That sounds interesting.
     
  5. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Sure thing. I didn’t take pics (which is kind of stupid nowadays), but all I did was save paper towel cores from work, stand them on end in a cardboard box lined with a trash bag. Then I shook potting soil over the upright tubes until they were full. Some dirt ended up between tubes and around them, which was ok.
    Then I took the acorns from my fridge where they had sprouted a radicle, and placed them into the soil, one per tube. I covered with another trash bag to keep moist, and misted them daily. By the time I had two leaves on the stem, the taproot was just reaching the bottom of the tubes. I timed this out so that they could go in the ground directly from the porch. I lost two to mice, so I’ll have to address that next year.
    So far the sawtooths I tubed are about 18” tall, and other red oaks are 6-8”.


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  6. 144

    144 Active Member

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    That’s an interesting way to keep the taproot from circling or getting pruned. I may have to try that myself this year.

    Thanks for sharing!


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  7. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    On both our owned properties not going to have many acorns at all...

    Haven’t been to our lease to check yet on the oaks down there...
     
  8. Griffin

    Griffin New Member

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    I am very much looking forward to the exchange. I'll be going to local public places, parks and such to collect mine. There is a moderately old Bur Oak in a local park here that has branches that droop to the ground and is loaded every year. I thought that could potentially produce some good seedlings that would be of interest to habitat managers. What other acorns were in demand last year?

    Fishman I am very interested to see how your squirrel pile method works out. Please update here or start a new thread so I can follow. I thought that would be a fun experiment at my place but my problem is I don't really have any squirrels. I'm in Central Oklahoma and our small acreage is old pasture land with not a single mature tree. Only trees I have planted since I bought the place last Fall. So if I piled up some acorns I don't know what would happen to them. Maybe the birds would spread them around IDK.
     
  9. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Does anybody have any old open growth oaks that were at one point part of natural oak savanna habitat? Lately I’ve had a big fascination of oak Savanna’s and I’m looking to create a miniature 2-3 acre oak savanna of my own. I think it would be very cool to plant acorns from original 200 year old savanna trees.


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  10. shedder

    shedder Active Member

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    I have land where oaks were not found naturally. When we got the place 50 years ago there was a young red oak planted in the yard. Lately, I have found over 100 red oaks spread from that tree by jays as far as 0.25 miles away.

    One year in another location I found a plastic box. I tied it up in a tree, out reach of ground critters, and put acorns in it. I don't know if jays got them but the box was empty when I looked a week, or so, later.

    Jays will plant a lot of acorns and they are better than squirrels because squirrels tend to damage them. The downside of critter planting is that they often put them in bad places. I found a doz seedlings oaks along field and road edges where they were not needed. Jays like to plant along lines to help there memories. You would too if you planted 6000 a year.

    I have thought about trying a jay planting setup this year. I am thinking getting jays used to a site first is important. It might be best to bait them with sunflowers to get them coming to a site then add acorns later.
     
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  11. mattpatt

    mattpatt Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Concordia Oaks are looking good this year. These trees were purchased from MDC four years ago.


    Matt


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  12. Cap'n

    Cap'n Active Member

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    Thats a heck of an idea, I like that.
    Of course you tell me this after I bought a bunch of RM18's LOL
    I'm not sure if the STO I sent you the acorns from last year are producing this year. I'll go check this weekend but so far the oaks i'm seeing in all different parts of Oklahoma didn't produce many acorns if any. Really the only ones i'm seeing with acorns are blackjacks.
    . Im in for doing another trade for some coneflower seeds though. Those Sawtooth are the easiest acorn to germinate I've seen yet. Glad yours are doing well too.
     
  13. Cap'n

    Cap'n Active Member

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    You never know what kind of acorns you could exchange. Bur oak would be good though, it just depends on what someone else is lacking and if you have access to them. And of course if what they have will grow here or vice versa. I usually have plenty of Sawtooth, Bur, Post, Blackjack, Live, Red, & Shumard Oaks from around OKC and I also have a place in eastern Okla that has a ton of Red, Post, Blackjack and I found a Chinkapin last year and have a bunch of seedlings from it. It doesn't look like a good year for acorns in Okla. from what I can tell.
     
  14. TreeDaddy

    TreeDaddy Active Member

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    I am scouting for good white oak trees locally

    bill
     
  15. Fishman

    Fishman Member

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    For people who are scouting for trees, I found an app a couple of weeks ago that may help in your quest to find new and interesting trees. It is iNaturalist. You can also go to https://www.inaturalist.org/ and explore your area online. The app is nice in that when you are searching areas you can use your phone's GPS to help find the location. Just remember that your phone GPS isn't always that accurate. It may be off quite a few feet.

    Last weekend I found some paw paws that are about three miles from my house that I had no idea were there. I also found some Allegheny chinkapins a little over a mile from my house. Tomorrow morning I am going to look for some runner oaks. Your mileage may vary on what observations people have posted around you, but you should definitely check out the web site.
     
  16. Fishman

    Fishman Member

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    Unfortunately I know how well blue jays can plant acorns. I have four water oaks in my backyard and the blue jays love to move acorns into the flower beds in my front yard. I spend most of the summer removing them from the flower beds or spraying them with Round Up. The acorns (swamp chestnut oak, white oak, Shumard and Nutall) I plan to plant are too big for blue jays though. That is why I thought squirrel may be up to the task.

    I fully expect the squirrels to eat their fair share and I don't have a problem with that as long as they forget where they planted some of the acorns. I cannot find the scientific article referred to on this page, but the researcher states that "Gray squirrels may devour many acorns, but by storing and failing to recover up to 74 percent of them, these rodents aid regeneration and dispersal of oaks." Another scientific article contradicts squirrels forgetting, but it was done on a much smaller scale (10 acorns). I can probably remember where I put 10 acorns in my backyard, but I would be hard pressed to find 500. I found 10-15 seedlings this spring where I know I didn't plant them. The squirrels dug them up from where I planted them and then replanted them somewhere else. My plan is that I put out about a hundred acorns at one time. The squirrels gorge themselves and then start to hide the remaining acorns. They then forget where they put them and tiny acorns begin their long journey to mighty oaks in the spring and I don't have to spend quality time with the dibble bar. It may be wishful thinking, but I also will be growing seedlings next year for planting in 2020 if it doesn't work.
     
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  17. TreeFan

    TreeFan Member

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    I am constantly checking out trees that are exemplary examples of their type where ever I go. Last year, at 62, I saw my first chinkopin, with lots of acorns and a 3 foot diameter trunk, while riding my bike. Waited for acorns to fall and collected about 30 of them. Some were already producing radicals within days of hitting the ground. This spring they were planted in rootmaker bags. The result - 50% hybrid white oaks and 50% "true to form" chinkopins. The hybrid white oaks are twice as tall as the true to form chinkopins. The hybrids will go on the north side of the property and the shorter chinkopins on the interior.
    This year I have my eye on a prolific bur at a rest stop on I-75 (southbound at M13). I believe these rest stop trees are provided by the Michigan State University extension.
    Unlike the squirrels, I remember where I planted trees, but, I sometimes forget exactly where they came from.
     
  18. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
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    I’m into another trade like last years, Cap’n, the coneflower beds are beckoning! I’ll be in touch after the holidays.


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  19. Griffin

    Griffin New Member

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    Cap ironically I can't find a single acorn on any Blackjacks and everything else seems loaded. I'm just SW of your location and head further SW for several of my spots. Went to a local park today and the burs/overcups were drooping with nuts but not quite ready yet. Still pretty green. Squirrels are already hitting them hard though. I may have to get them while I can. The trees at our church are Pins and unknown Red Oak and they are already dropping big time.

    Matt definitely interested in some Concordias. If I don't wind up with anything for trade I'll gladly pay for your trouble.

    I gathered quite a few black walnuts today that are already falling and getting some strong sqirrel action. I have access to more of those than I can collect if anyone is interested in walnuts. I also have quite a few bois d'arc fruit (horse apple/hedge apple/Osage orange).

    I'll be looking for SWO and Sawtooth. Another tree I need is Cottonwood if anyone has small seedlings or a ziplock bag of seed they happened to gather this summer. Other trees/seeds/nuts of interest are Serviceberry, Crabapple, Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum, PawPaw, Elderberry, and Persimmon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  20. Mitch123

    Mitch123 Active Member

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    Know last year I didn’t get all the nuts I thought I would have, and get them out sorry for that. This year though I’ll do a better job and hopefully Mother Nature helps. I would love to revive some sawtooths, chestnuts, persimmons, any apple or pear species and some swamp white or chestnut oaks. I’ll check out what the trees look like this week, hopefully I’ll be loaded with pin oaks and white oaks this year but we shall see. 4 of my DCO trees have burrs this year so I will hopefully be able to send some of those out! If anyone would want some autumn olives I can get those now as they are LOADED this year.
     

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