Dwarf chinkapin oak


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The last couple of years my 7-8 foot tall DCO gets these little nubs but no acorns. Why?


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A little dry but nothing drastic yet. Last year was perfect growing conditions with the same result?

This is the only DCO I have not sure it that makes a difference. Plenty of other oaks within throwing distance.
Hmm. I don't know. I've seen other oaks abort their acorns just like you said but I never knew why. I figured it was weather related but maybe not.
I am not an expert, but if this is your only DCO then I think the the acorns are not being pollinated by another tree and therefore the acorns are not developing since they are not fertilized and viable.
Those nubs are acorns. DCO has male catkins and also the female portion on the same tree, so those tiny acorns should develop.
Those nubs are acorns. DCO has male catkins and also the female portion on the same tree, so those tiny acorns should develop.

I hope so, last year they never made it past this size. I’ll keep an eye on them.
Young trees aborting them or never fertilized I guess. My chinkapin oaks did the same thing last year. They have these like this again this year. So do my DCO's.
Maybe fertilization would help, you never know what that tree is dealing with underground. I recently had a storm cellar put in at my place in Eastern Okla. They dug down 3-3.5 ft and hit limestone. We have a little chinkapin oak 15 ft or so out there that produces real well for it's size. I've got probably 15 seedling from it growing. If it's growing in 3 ft of soil I imagine it struggles at times.
Oak trees need other oak trees for pollination. Each tree does have male and female parts, but oaks do not self pollinate. Unless you get another DCO growing nearby, your tree is not going to produce acorns.
A DCO can cross pollinate with another oak from the white oak group, but it is a rare occurrence. This article discusses oak hybrids and some of the reasons hybridization is rare.
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My DCOs did that in 2016, last year they produced acorns. I didnt notice catkins until this year. I have lots of those tiny acorns right now on my trees only time will tell if they continue to develop to full size.
I had a few last year and they fell off about this time. This year they are loaded. Hoping they make it.

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What age do they produce?


Depends on who you ask and what you consider viable production. :). Mine are five years old grown from seed. I think I’ve spotted a dozen or so potential nuts. The squirrels and I are about duke it out of these things start producing.

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I think this one is 8 years old. Six foot t post for reference. No mature acorns that I have seen.

All the little "acorns" have fallen off my DCO's. Most have off my standard chinkapins as well.