Coast live oak planting from acorns II

Last year I worked with my brother and father to plant several hundred acorns from local trees on the "upper 40" part of my parent's property near Santa Barbara. I wrote about that in Coast live oak planting from acorns I.

An oak mast last winter helped make it easy to collect the acorns. I've discussed masting before as well. Here and here.

I was disappointed that the acorns hadn't produced any visible growth back in February. I'm happy to report that we have about 30 oak sprouts on the upper 40 now. That's a 10 to 15% germination rate, assuming that my guess of 200 acorns planted is correct. None of the sprouts is more than a few inches tall, so there could be some attrition, but since we're getting into the cooler months, I'd guess that the main hazard is gophers rather than the weather.

Also, the one oak that I accidentally dug up last year had an extensive root system already, though the leaves were not yet visible. Were I to pull up any of the oak sprouts, I'd bet the growth would be mainly in the root.

Lessons: Wild grown acorns appear to sprout much slower than pot-grown acorns (these had natural rainfall and very limited supplemental watering). They also develop extensive root systems without much apparent above ground growth, unlike their potted siblings which will get very tall and root bound very quickly in a 1 gallon pot.

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