How Do I Plant Oak Seedlings?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Planting oak seedlings is a process that is not difficult, but does require attention to detail. Many people are surprised to learn that it is possible to plant oak seedlings even during the winter months, provided that certain conditions prevail. To manage the process of successfully planting the seedlings, care must be taken to ascertain the moisture content of the soil, use the right process for watering the seedling, and making the proper use of the native soil found in the immediate area.

To begin the process of planting oak seedlings, choose a section of ground that has adequate moisture. While the seedlings can be planted any time of year, spring is often a preferred time. This is because the ground normally contains a fair amount of moisture, but can be broken up with relative ease after the winter thaw. Also make sure the location for the planting is in an area that is not subject to a lot of runoff during spring and summer showers, since this could wash away the soil around the seedling and also contribute to rotting the root ball of the seedling.

With the right location selected, dig holes for the oak seedlings. If the seedlings are currently kept in a pot, use the dimensions of that pot to guide the process. Typically, the hole should be slightly less deep than the depth of the pot, with the width of each hole being somewhere between two to three times the pot width.


Make sure to position the oak seedlings in the middle of the holes. There is no need to add in any type of fillers, fertilizers, or soil enhancers at this point in the process. Refill the space around the seedlings using the soil that was dug up in order to create the holes, making sure to loosely pack the soil around the seedling. The loose packing will aid in managing the watering process more efficiently.

Douse the newly planted oak seedlings so that the surrounding ground is saturated but not to the point that water is left standing. The idea is to provide enough moisture so that the root ball of each seedling can be nourished, but not enough water to trigger any type of root rotting. From there, regular watering in accordance with the type of oak seedlings involved, and in consideration of the prevailing weather conditions, will make it easy for the root system to develop and growth to begin occurring over the course of the year. In many instances, watering the oak seedlings no more than once every four days will be sufficient, unless the weather is unseasonably dry or wet. In order to ensure the watering schedule is exceptionally, consult a local agricultural extension office for specific data on how to balance the moisture content with current weather conditions and avoid excessive dryness, or too much water that could cause root rot.


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