The mighty, majestic oak tree has, throughout the centuries, been the subject of story, song and proverb. More than 80 species of this beautiful tree are found in North America. All oaks are deciduous trees with furrowed bark.
When choosing your location pick a spot that will accommodate a full-grown oak, they can get to be 60-80 feet tall and 60-100 feet wide at maturity. Do not plant too close to structures, streets, or sidewalks.
1) Dig your hole and make it twice as wide as the diameter and as deep as the depth of the root ball.
2) Mix in good compost with the soil you’ve removed from the planting site. The addition of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi is the best contribution you can make to your oak tree’s soil and to the long-term viability of your tree. (Available for purchase in Diehard Transplant Fertilizers).
3) Keep the tree straight as you backfill in the hole, gently tamping down the soil with your shovel until it’s firm.
4) Water the planting area thoroughly allowing the water to really soak into the ground. Spread a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the tree but avoid it being too close to the base, as this will promote fungus and rot.
Over-watering is a common tree care mistake. A damp soil that dries for a short period will allow adequate oxygen to permeate the soil. As a rule of thumb your soil should be kept moist. Usually 30 seconds with a steady stream of water from a garden hose once a week in the cooler seasons is sufficient. In warmer climates you may need to water 2-3 times weekly. Cease watering during the winter.
Pruning your tree during the winter months will allow it to care for its wounds in spring, when it will recover more quickly. At first limit trimming only to dead or broken branches on newly planted trees. Two to three years after planting you can begin developmental trimming to shape the tree.
Oak trees experience a quick spurt of growth in the spring, followed by slower spurts of growth throughout the summer and fall seasons. Apply your fertilizer in the early spring before this initial spring growth spurt starts. The best fertilizers for oaks are those with a nutrient ratio of 12-6-6 or 12-4-8. While a healthy oak tree doesn’t technically require fertilization, occasional feeding can help boost tree growth and acorn production.
Oak wood has a very high density creating great strength and hardness.
Oak wood was widely used in early civilizations for sea ships in exploration. Oaks were held in such high esteem that they were used as congregation points for village elders when determining laws and morals of their township. Oaks can grow to be very ancient providing they are able to mature. There are some of these trees alive today that are said to be over 1000 years old!