Oak Seedlings

Last fall I collected some acorns from under a Willow Oak on the PSU-Hershey Med Center Campus. Four of them started to grow, only one looks right for a Willow oak. <
http://home.earthlink.net/~mkmolchan/07-23-06_1122.jpg . (The one on
the left.) All of the acorns originally appeared to be from the same tree. There were other red oaks (others from the group with spines on the leaf tip) Can I have some hybrids in my group of four?
Can I plant these out into the yard now here in PA if I keep them well watered? If not now, when?
Jim
PS I fell in love with the Willow Oaks at Mt. Vernon when I visited, but was told they were a southern tree. I later found out that some can grow up north if they were adapted, but found no nursery that had them. When I saw the trees in 2002 at Hershey Med I kept watching them for acorns.
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McGerm wrote:

the sooner the better. They have a tremendous taproot which is now severely confined, so you are weakening them. Oaks, as well as chestnuts, are best planted directly from seed. Choose their final location now because they can not be replanted elsewhere (due to said taproot).
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simy1 wrote:

Western oaks (e.g., valley white oak (Quercus lobata), coast live oak (Q. agrifolia)) do not do well in gardens. They require a dry summer and a wet winter (not real wet). The irrigation required for gardens during our long, hot summers will eventually kill western oaks through root rot. They also do not appreciate other plants in their root zones. This can be overcome by cutting away the main tap root while the tree is still a seedling, which is done for nursery-grown oaks. Then, western oaks do quite well in gardens.
I don't know if any of this applies to eastern oaks.
See <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_oak_acorn.html .
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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David E. Ross wrote:

None of it applies. But to finish the discussion, these trees can be transplanted in "whip" form. Basically, a bed with very loose soil is seeded with acorns, walnuts, or chestnuts (all are highland, sunny-side trees with taproots), and then the tree is pulled at about 1-2 ft length (with the taproot, that will be 4-5ft). It can then be replanted given a deep enough hole. They do not have a root ball, just a long taproot with a few feeders.
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Thanks for that info. I dug up a volunteer and potted it up, then transplanted to a larger pot. I don't have room for it in my yard but want to give it to my son or one of my kids if they have room for it. It looks like a couple of those plants he posted. I know it came from the tree just like it across the alley. I would have rather had a pinoak from a little further away, but you take what you get.
I also have a volunteer tulip tree that will not mature where it has sprung up, been whacked once and shot up a long new shoot with huge leaves. They grow from seed if planted directly in the ground in the fall I read somewhere on the net. I don't have room for one of those either, but I love trees, and it's fun to watch them grow.

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Thank you...
I just sprayed 6 three foot circles with Roundup for the four red oaks I put in my picture and two of the other 6 white oaks I got to sprout. The white oaks are from Chestnut Oak acorns from the park across town. I will see if anyone at work wants the other 4.
I plan on doing no amending just digging down 18" or so to loosen things. I plan on building up a ring of soil, using tree shelters and putting down 2" of hardwood mulch.
Sound OK...
Still want to know if anyone thinks that hybrids may be possible.
Jim
These oaks are just an aside for me, my true plant love is/are orchids. <
http://home.earthlink.net/~mkmolchan/Orchids/images/Mormodesdressleri.jpg
Mormodes dressleri
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I don't quite understand about the Roundup unless you have something invasive where you are going to plant them. I assume you mean you sprayed in anticipation of planting? Good luck with finding homes for the other ones.

I'm by no means an expert, and can't do heavy planting any more (yours aren't heavy planting), but when I did set out my trees from the nursery, I mixed what came out of the hole with some kind of fertilizer in a large container, can't remember what, and filled the hole with that, wasn't into mulch like I am now, but that is a must. Two inches is about right. Be sure to mound up the soil in a little circle a way out (not too high) to channel the water. Water well before planting, after planting, and frequently thereafter until the roots take hold and deepen but not excessively. Some of these darn things have such a will to live you don't have to do much of anything; other things you have to pamper. A friend told me about cypress mulch which I like the looks of (only I wish it weren't quite so chunky but that keeps it from degrading I suppose), and arborday.org says in their planting instructions not to let the mulch touch the bark at the base of the little trees. There, I've told you all I know and there's more than one way of doing it, I'm sure.

That is an interesting question, you will need an expert for that. Certain plants will only cross with certain plants within their own species and that's the way it is. Still lots of things are possible. They might need some gene splicing to cross, I have no clue. Be fun to try, but then how would you know if you have gotten a true cross or a mutation (probably rare in trees but I've seen a few strange things with other plants)?
Good luck with your little trees. It is truly a labor of love. You watched so long and waited. I did the same with a Linden tree I wanted, asked permission from the city to try to root some suckers, had no clue what I was doing, thought a growth bud started to swell on my kitchen windowsill, then I got busy with other things and it died. So I bought a Linden tree and had it planted on the farm to mark uh my cat's grave.
If I feel like driving, I can take mine to the farm and plant them, but I did that before and couldn't get back to water them, only thing that survived was a yellow lilac. Trees are not real welcome there because of the extra work and they want every square inch of tillable ground free of them.
I wish I had more room; my yard is rather small for my big plans and schemes.

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McGerm wrote:

I'm no expert, but the one on the left doesn't look like a willow oak to me. All the willow oaks I've seen have much leaves that are much more narrow and lanceolate.
Here is a web page that shows some photos of hybrids between willow oaks and different red oaks: http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/quph.html
I'll bet the seedling on the left in your photo is a hybrid.
Nick
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Hybrids? Possibly. Are these all willow oaks? possibly. though I don't think so. For hybridization, you would probably be talking about two red oaks or two white oaks (the broad families, not the species with those common names). I doubt a white oak would cross with a red. But all this is the realm of someone more botanist than arborist, and that ain't me.
Oaks have a tendency to look like some other oak when this young. but you seem to have three distinct species here, whether hybrid or not. Just guessing, I'd say chinkapin, (maybe willow), shumard, shumard, looking at your photo left to right. But, again, they may look quite different as they get older.
Did the acorns all look alike? Generally, a shumard's acorns will all look a lot like each other and not much like, say, a chinkapin's. So if the acorns were similar, there's a better chance they are the same species showing different characteristics. The range of differences will vary, too, so maybe the acorns looked alike but were still not from the same tree.
Sorry not to offer a more definitive answer. To sum up, wait and see.
Keith Babberney ISA Certified Arborist #TX-0236AT
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(Keith Babberney wrote:)

Thank you for the comments...The acorns I collected from Hershey Med were all identical.
I was back up in Hershey yesterday and swung by to look at the tree under which I took the acorns. The tree looks like a willow oak from the leaves. There were no white oaks like the chinkapin around anywere near the willow oak. There were some trees that could have been shumard oaks, there were also ones that looked like northern red oak, pin oaks, and a black oak. Among about 20 oaks there were only three that were willow oak looking.
Hybrid or not, willow oak or not, I think I have some strong seedlings worth planting. The two on the ends are now starting there third flush of leaves!
Jim
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