My dad has been planting nuts, growing to seedlings, and then planted in the fall. We have a mix of airpots, rootmaker pots and bags, deepots, jiffy pot red oak pods(specifically for forestry) and some randoms. I had been saving Costco generic smartwater bottles too, as they're about the same size as deepots, and I can get them from my neighbors for free.
This year I'm testing the 1 year to old seedlings at home for the summer, with just 25 trees. 12 are persimmon, which I don't believe really have much of a taproot like hardwoods. Then a few sawtooth and hybrid chestnuts. I'll be getting some seedlings from MDC as well, so I'll try another 6 of them to see what happens. I'm in a FB group for chestnut growers, and a number of folks there seem pretty successful with 3 gallons rootmakers for year 1-2, then planting. Their trees get to 6'-8' or so in two years, started from nuts.
We can plant and protect nuts, but don't have the ability to really care for them at camp. We're going to direct plant some hybrid chestnuts this year, and I scattered about 100 gallons of red oak acorns two falls ago.
You seem pretty set on doing this so I say go for it. Come back in a few years and let us know how the taproot pruned trees faired. I still have Rootmaker\root pruned trees living that I planted when I first got started ten years ago but I also have direct seeded trees that I planted six years ago that are now the same the same size. So the awesome growth you see up front is negated when it’s no longer getting water on a regular basis. The tree now has to put all its resources into maintaining roots and root development so it hardly puts on any additional top growth for several years. Meanwhile your little direct seeded tree is just setting there growing at a steady rate year after year. There is a reason nature put a taproot on the bottom of many tree species. Some require it more than others. Oaks and chestnut just happen to be a few that we like to grow that don’t like us messing around with it. Just my observations from 10 or more years of growing trees.
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