how to propagate oregon white oaks...

Oregon white oak propagation

The Oregon white oak, quercus garryana, is very common in our area. Our land is covered by their unique semi-grassland
savannas. Sometimes I wonder if these trees don’t just spring up full grown because you seldom see young oaks. I think that just about everything wants to eat them. In the October, usually about the time of our first rains, we collect our acorns as they fall to the ground below their mothers. The Oregon white oak fruits every other year - last year we had no acorns at all. I expect a bumper acorn harvest this fall given the manifest spring flowering we have seen throughout our oak woods. Our acorns sprouted their roots immediately - for us, it was plant or die. The plants adapted well to their planting, sending out a large tap root - the oak characteristically puts out a long tap root quickly to help it survive the dry summer. In fact, you risk disease if you water too extensively during the summer.

We air-pruned ours in order to try to encourage lateral root growth around this tap root. Our Oregon white oak mothers grow in a rocky/clay soil, in our moderate zone 7-9 area. Your oaks will do their very best if they come from an area similar to yours. We have only a few winter freezes.

Keep them moist after you plant and while they are young - but let the soil dry so their roots grow down. And keeping the weeds down really helps. Beware pests - deer, bears, squirrels, mice, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, turkeys, quail, blue jays and woodpeckers will eat your young oak all up. Protect your seedling and young trees with wire screen cages until the trees are four feet tall. Do not underestimate how much these animals want to eat your new oak.

Now, be patient. 

After a year or three, you might plant them out in the fall with some protection - thick plastic webbing wrapped around the trunk works well. Water well if the ground is dry. You could also try a "bonsai" pot planting - they look real cute.



or paperbark maples

Paperbark Maple

  • The paperbark is NOT drought tolerant.
  • Hardy down to zone 6
  • Its leaves are attractive and its bark, well, that's the keeper.

or ?

We offer both retail and wholesale plants. Email us if you have any questions on whether these might be the plants for you.


Pay us a visit. Give us your thoughts.