Oak Tree Parenting

I posted on Facebook a while back that I had extra baby burr oak trees.My announcement gave guidelines as who could have these little beauties though….they had to be approved by me, the Oak Grandparent, for not just anyone can pry them out of my loving hands.

acorn oak tree

I would plant them all, but am running out of room here at home base.  And the fact remains…I should share.  I can share.  I am good at sharing.  I just don’t share with those who are unworthy.

Some of my FB friends don’t get that obviously…and some are too confused to comment one way or the other.  That’s ok.  I don’t mind being dubbed as The Crazy One/Aunt/Friend/Mom/Mother-in-Law.  Been there. Done that.

I spent too much time to just casually cast these babies out in to the big ugly world without researching who their parents are, doing background checks and carefully scrutinizing all results thoroughly.

After all, I stalked my Mama Oak Tree for months.  First, to see if any acorns were setting on.  Then worrying when the wind threatened to blow us into Canada.  That wind is hard on tiny acorns.  Many ended up on the ground and I was sure my acorn crop would be no more.

But some persevered and grew. And grew.  I checked on them every day last fall.  And counted them. And checked the ground.

Finally, sometime in November, there they were. On the ground, just waiting to be scooped up by a varmint aka squirrel, rabbit, deer. Not on my watch friends.  I gathered each acorn as they bounced off the ground, in mid-air.  Yes, I am that good/determined/obsessed.

Each acorn was tested for fertility.  I know that sounds weird but you drop one at a time into a glass of water…if it floats, chunk it.  If it drops to the bottom, it’s good.  Then I counted acorns and carefully placed them in a plastic bag filled with sphagnum moss and sealed it up tight.  Once all of that is accomplished, I popped the bag into the fridge for the winter.

Baby Oak

After the deemed number of days, each acorn was placed half in half out of seed starting medium using a large pot, watered thoroughly and covered with a clear plastic cup.  Some days later, little sprouts start breaking through the acorn hull on one end, then the acorn root comes out of the other end.  At that point, I smell success!!!

Once the sprouts are going good and putting on leaves, I began breaking them in to sunshine. Not too much and not too strong…they usually end up under shade trees.

This is when you have to become vigilant…and strong.  Wire cages are a must, for smug little squirrels will find them in mere seconds and that tiny tree will become lunch for them.  Nope.  Not happening.  Well, it happened BUT now, I do everything in my power to insure the little saplings survive by building wire cages.  I wrap wire around a tomato  cage then fit it over the pot, pushing the tomato cage into the pot.  Then I make a lid for it out of the wire and feel pretty safe in assuming the tree is safe!

I water daily, check the wire fencing, pray over the babies, bless them and fuss at the squirrels.

And yes, I talk to the squirrels, usually with a 28 gauge.

Now, raise your hand if you’d like to apply for Burr Oak adoption.  I have 4 trees left. And the Oak Tree Parents are reporting in on time and with photos of my babies.  I give you the evidence.  They are good parents!!

Oak Edgar

Oak Edgar

Oak Ziesch

Oak Ziesch

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