In article <mailman.22.1253624729.12280.plantbio from net.bio.net>,
Olin Clawson <oclawson75 from gmail.com> wrote:
>I was searching the web for information on how to properly germinate Gambrel
>Oaks and I came across a few emails from you on other species. My little
>kids have gathered several Gambrel Acorns and are very excited to plant them
>this spring. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Seeds of most temperate climate trees need to be 'vernalized', i.e.
exposed to cool but not freezing temperatures for some time while they
are in a moist environment before they will germinate. While the
optimal conditions have been worked out for a number of species, the
simplest method for a tree native to your area is to plant fresh seeds
in a pot and bury the pot in your garden until spring. You may want
to cover the pot with some wire screening to protect the acorns from
squirrels. It wouldn't hurt to dump some dead leaves or other mulch on
top of the buried pot for a little extra protection.
That said, don't be too optimistic, since acorns are often infested by
insect larvae which may eat the embryo. Also, seeds of wild plants
don't always germinate all at once -- some may not germinate for a year
or more. I don't know if oaks are like that.
This sounds like a fun project for you and your kids. Think about where
you want to plant the seedlings. They'll grow up with your kids, the whole
experience will provide some rather nice lifelong memories for them, and
some day they may be able to show their children and grandchildren the large
trees that wouldn't be there but for you and them taking the time to start
them from acorns now.
I hope more knowledgable people will provide more and better advice for