Acorn Gathering and Planting
Bill Tietje is the Natural Resource Specialist with the UCCE and his specialty is Oak woodland ecology and management, human impacts on wildlife, oak regeneration, and land use planning. Below he provides his expertise in the gathering and planting of acorns.
Here are directions for gathering, storing, and planting acorns. Acorns of blue oak, coast live oak, and valley oak are moderately abundant this year. Why not gather some now for planting early next year. It is getting a bit late for gathering acorns of blue oak, so a trip to your favorite trees should not be delayed. Acorns of valley oak and coast live oak mature a bit later than those of blue oak.
The pdf is a bit long. In a nutshell:
- Gather the acorns ASAP, preferably directly from the tree. Acorns on the ground tend to be dry and infested with insect larvae.
- Store the acorns in a heavy plastic bag in the refrigerator (not in the freezer).
- After rainfall has moistened the ground (late December, January, February), plant the acorns and protect the planting site below and above ground (see the attached directions).
It's probably better to plant and protect one to several trees that you can give good care, rather than to plant many and then find that you don't have time to take proper care of them.
Enjoy, it will be good fun to watch your trees grow.
Click the link below to obtain the detailed instructions for gathering and planting.