What are your favorite varieties of oak?

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by tlh2865, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. tlh2865

    tlh2865 Active Member

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    Hardiness Zone:
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    I would love some input and advice from those of you who have experience with hunting oaks. The land I hunt has a handful and I’d like to move on to planting some trees with a longer wait time to bear mast now that I have the immediate future covered. So what are everybody’s favorite oaks and why?
    Thanks
     
  2. Nebraskaz71

    Nebraskaz71 Active Member

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    Location:
    Eastern Nebraska zone 4-5
    Really depends on your location and ground. Here bur oaks grow really well while most other varieties dont do to the high ph. Recently though I've been planting various columnar oaks cause they take less space, grow super fast and bear early. I gotta say though for me my new favorite trees are my heritage oak trees "bur x english" Transplanted 7ft trees last year from a local nursery, grew 4ft this year and I got over 100 acorns per tree with i'm guessing under a 2" caliper.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
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  3. snowracerh

    snowracerh Active Member

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    Location:
    Western Wisconsin
    Hardiness Zone:
    4A
    Id plant a variety of regular red and whites (northern red, white oak, swamp white oak and bur oak) as well as some hybrids such a schuette oak (bur x swamp white). Buy the biggest root stock you can, tube or cage them and keep the ground clear around them for a few years until they are established. Target mature spacing of 30' for acorn production or 20' for timber production. White varieties can be outpaced by red oaks, so starting the white oaks several years early may be helpful. Less trees well babied will be more effective than the shot gun approach of planting alot and not caring for them. Ive gotten cheap and just direct seed acorns and walk away hoping some take off. Trying to grow oak trees takes alot of $$ and time!


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  4. Cap'n

    Cap'n Active Member

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    I,d try to establish a mix of Oaks from both Red and White Oak families. That way you will always have a decent crop no matter what the weather does to the acorn production of either family.

    I live,hunt, and grew up in the Crosstimbers eco region and my favorite tree is the Post Oak but I have planted Blackjack, Sawtooth, columned English Oak, Bur, and Chinese Chestnuts on my land and I’m trying to regain ground that was lost to hackberry, elm, mulberry , walnut, locust and trees like that .
    This year I have seedlings I’m planting from Post Oak, Sawtooth, Shumard, English, Bur, Chinkapin Oak, and Chestnuts. Just learning which ones will do the best on your land is both frustrating and rewarding.


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  5. letemgrow

    letemgrow Active Member

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    Location:
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    I like to shotgun a bunch of oak species for starters and then babysit the ones that do the best.

    You can also waste years planting a few species that will struggle to just survive and not be best suited for your soil types.




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  6. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Decatur county, IN Zone 6a
    I really like any that are producing acorns! I prefer members of the white oak family, because the deer seem to favor them over reds, but other than that.....I'll take what I can grow.

    You will find some oaks are far more adaptable to different areas than others. I like SWO, WO, Bur and Chinkapin.....these seem to grow best on the soils I have. Toss in some northern red oak and that pretty much covers what I have on my place.
     
  7. weekender21

    weekender21 Active Member

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    Location:
    Hawaii/North Carolina
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    After watching deer flock to Chestnut oaks on my property in early September, I’ll have to put that one very high on my list from a hunting deer preference standpoint. They were also hitting several large standard white oaks. The red oaks do get hit hard when the white oaks are cleaned up. It’s already been mentioned but diversity would be ideal if you want acorns every year.


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  8. mattpatt

    mattpatt Active Member

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    Location:
    Brookston, TX
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    I prefer anything that produces fast. The only native trees we have are blackjack oaks and a few water oaks scattered around. So we've planted Concordia, Chinkapin, DCO, Bur and a few Shumard. The DCO produced a few this year at 4 years old. I have Concordia's in my yard that produced at 5 yo. I hope the Concordia's in the woods start producing next year. Even if they do it won't amount to much. It'll be at least another 5-6 years before we start getting any measurable amount of food for the wildlife. That is if we don't have another drought or two along the way.
     
  9. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Location:
    Northern Michigan
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    Why does it seem that many of the popular hybrid species are crosses between bur oaks and something else? Why bur oaks?


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  10. mattpatt

    mattpatt Active Member

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    Not really sure. Perhaps it's because it readily crosses with other white oaks? People may also prefer the larger acorns that the Bur crosses produce. Bur Oaks also have a large native range so the opportunity for them to cross with other white oaks is greater.

    I think I may have a Bur x Concordia Oak cross in my yard. If that's the case this would be a Chinkapin x Dwarf Chinkapin x Swamp White x Bur Oak. Whew...that's a mouth full!
     
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  11. TreeDaddy

    TreeDaddy Active Member

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    Location:
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    Matt,

    You might consider allegheny chinkapins

    Mine do well here and some have started producing in 3rd year(similar to DCO)

    One of few that survive here in east texas heat

    bill
     
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  12. TreeFan

    TreeFan Member

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    Location:
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    My favorite is Burgamble with quick production of lots of acorns every year. Even when others do not produce and I have to fight with the wildlife to acquire any of them for myself.
     
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  13. chadmyers

    chadmyers Active Member

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    Location:
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    Depends on the type of soil and location you are wanting to plant them. The soil can be different all over a piece of property with the changes in elevation. You can look at a topo map of your property and that will tell you what you can plant in which area. You can also look at what kind of trees are already there and that can let you know what kind of tree will do best in a general area. The zone that you live in is another thing that you can use to help you determine what can grow there. It is usually best to have both white and red oak species. Some years the white oaks produce good and some/most years the red oaks will produce good. White oaks are more desirable because they have less tannic acid in them. Tannic acid makes the acorns taste bitter. That’s why deer prefer the white oaks over red. (With a few exceptions)
    •Red oak: A lot of people like sawtooths because they grow fast and produce at an early age. They are very hardy trees and they have less tannic acid in them than most other red oak species. That’s why the deer love them. The survival rate is very high in sawtooths.
    There are many other red oak species, but I don’t know what zone you’re in. I live in South Georgia so I mostly know what is best in my area.
    White Oaks: chestnut, white, and overcup oak are some of my favorites and those take a little more time to produce.
    How well each tree does depends on several different factors. The amount sunlight is a huge factor to consider for each species. Keeping grass and any other vegetation away that are competing with each other. The spacing also plays a huge role in the overall survival and health of each tree. I usually space mine 30’-50’ apart. I prefer 50’ spacing for most of my trees. It makes them much easier to mow around.
    The easiest and cheapest thing to do is to identify which trees you want and then try locate some that are growing in your area. Find the best looking trees that are producing the most acorns and collect as many as you can. Put the acorns in a bucket full of water and pick out the ones that float. If they float they’re not viable. Lay them out on a towel to dry and then Put them in ziplock bags and label each bag. Poke a lot of small air holes in the ziplocks. Also fold up a paper towel and put just enough water on it so it feels damp. (Not soaking wet!) put the paper towel underneath the acorns, in the ziplock. Store in the fridge until you plant them the following spring. Buy the bigger white styrofoam cups like they sell at the dollar store. I use a fat pencil to poke a hole in the bottom of each cup. Get a bag of peat moss and get some sand. (I get sand from the river near my house) try to get the sand that has a little more of the small rocks in it. (The little rocks will let it drain better than fine sand). Mix the peat moss and sand 50:50 and fill each cup just under the rim. Pack it a little bit and then lay the acorn on it’s side with the smaller end in the center of the cup. Put a little more of the soil on the top so when you pack it it’ll be at the rim of the cup. You can let them grow in the cup until the following winter. Then you can either plant them or transplant them into a 1 gal pot and grow them for another year. I’ve actually planted them without taking them out of the cup. The styrofoam will get brittle and the roots will bust through the cup. I think they actually do better leaving them in the cup. I sell most of mine, so I step them up to a 3 gal pot and sell them on the 3rd or fourth year. You can put newspaper about 8 pages thick around your tree to keep vegetation from growing around them as much. The newspaper will eventually decompose and the ink will not hurt the tree. (Make sure you take any pages out that has the glossy shine to it).
    You will have to keep them watered or you can buy a cheap misting system from lows and then you don’t have to worry about them. Make sure not to over water! Trees and plants will grow a lot faster under a misting system, but you’ll have to read the proper way to use it. You can find more information about all of this at freeplants.com. They have information about the best ways to propagate most any tree or plant that you can think of.


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  14. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    SW AR
    Hardiness Zone:
    7
    Shumard - our first oak to drop acorns - and a big acorn at that. Then white oak start dropping - and at that time, they are preferred over other species. Then willow/water oak for a late acron drop. Three months of acorn drop.
     

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