Length of tap root on an oak tree?

I've got some acorns soaking in water and I'm starting to see some action. Now I'm trying to figure out how big of a pot to put them in. In the spring they will be planted in the ground.
How long of a tap root do these babies make? Or how deep should the pot be?
Thanks for your help.
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they got really long tap roots. I would try packing some 12" pieces of PVC with dirt and plant in that. then the dirt can just slip out without disturbing the tap root. Ingrid

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"Bruce W.1" wrote:

It depends on the variety of oak and the environment where you will plant it.
In 1976, I sprouted acorns from valley white oak (Quercus lobata), potted them, and then finally moved one of them into the ground. This tree has a very deep taproot when mature. Also, it cannot survive where the soil is wet in the summer (e.g., in a garden). So I pruned the taproot when I moved it from a small pot into a larger one. The resulting growth of spreading roots made the tree more adaptive to being watered in a garden.
The tree is now taller than my 2-story house and has dropped acorns of its own. Two saplings from my oak are now in 5 gallon cans awaiting planting at a new community center.
For details, see my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_oak_acorn.html .
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David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/
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I would suggest that you prune the tap root of your seedlings. Seedlings with tap roots are difficult to manage in pots because the tap root is forced to grow horizontally rather than vertically. Seedlings with an intact tap root have a high mortality when transplanted because the tap root is all they have and if that is damaged they are essentially rootless. Curled tap roots from potted plants usually have to be pruned to prevent root strangulation of the seedling so you can't win there either.
When I grow oak seedlings to use as grafting stock I grow them in tall narrow pots with no bottom. The tap root grows out of the bottom of the pot and is 'air pruned', i.e. the portion of the root that is exposed to the atmosphere is killed.
When the tap root is pruned the seedling will develop a fiberous root system and transplantation is trouble free.
You can also manually prune the tap root and get the same results.
--beeky
Bruce W.1 wrote:

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