Friday, March 25, 2011

Unfinished business: Quercus seedling

A couple months ago, I reported a very small oak tree growing in the pot of one of my Cordylines. I was excited about this, because having an oak tree in the yard that I'd started myself, and under such unusual circumstances, seemed like it would be neat. So I very carefully removed it from the pot,

and planted it in its own pot.

Whereupon it shriveled and died. Within a month.

So I guess that's not how one raises baby oak trees. I'm not surprised, but I'm not sure what I could have done wrong in such a short time, either. Easy come, easy go.


Anonymous said...

You bare-tooted it when it was in leaf. That's enough to kill it. To move it you need to preserve the root ball if it's in active growth. It might be possible to bare-root it if it's dormant, I haven't done that experiment.


FLGardenGuy said...

So sorry to hear that! Almost same thing happened to me a few years back. We had a nice winter where I didn't have to mow the lawn through all of Dec & Jan. Before I did mow it, I dug about 12 baby oaks out of the lawn. I still have about 8, and 3 of them are as tall as me.

Long Haired Lady Rider said...

Maybe you should have rehomed the Cordyline!

Que Sera Sera...

Andy said...

Hey Mr. Subjunctive,
I've been trying to grow an oak, too. What I've found is basically this: While you can transplant an oak seedling to another spot, it's really not ideal for them. They (at least, the species of oak I want, namely Quearcus alba and Quercus macrocarpa) want to be grown from seed in the spot they'll live in for their whole lives. They're a bit picky like that. I think red oaks are a little easier. Otherwise, I second what Don said - moving Oaks bare-root in leaf is generally a bad idea. I admit I haven't succeeded in Oak-growing yet, purely because of squirrel intervention, so take what you will.

Mostly, just kind of hope, as usual.