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Fertilize oak seedlings?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by whitenack, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. whitenack

    whitenack ArboristSite Operative

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    I collected a bunch of bur oak accorns this fall and planted them in little milk cartons. I have set them in a sunny window seal, and boy have they taken off!!

    Do they need any fertilizer, or should I wait until they are older?

    When is the best time to transplant them outside?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jay Banks

    Jay Banks ArboristSite Operative

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    I would say not to fertilize but what type of soil did you use to plant them in. If it is a soilless mix than yes you would fertilize because that mix is pretty much sterile and neutral.

    Only use a quarter strength of fertilizer in youe soilless mix. Then plant outside after the threat of a hard freeze.
     
  3. whitenack

    whitenack ArboristSite Operative

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    we used the miracle grow potting soil.

    Any idea what the next move should be?
     
  4. Jay Banks

    Jay Banks ArboristSite Operative

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    I'd wait til spring and plant your seedlings out. I would keep them moist, don't over water and keep them on the cool side.
     
  5. tshanefreeman

    tshanefreeman ArboristSite Operative

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    I agree with Jay about there being no need for fertilizer, the miracle grow soil will be sufficient enough.

    Bur Oaks have a taproot that drives down through the soil in an attempt to reach new water sources and it also aids in stability. If your containers aren't large enough, the taproot will become root bound and it could stress the tree later in its life!
     
  6. Jay Banks

    Jay Banks ArboristSite Operative

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    Shane,
    The tap root issues can be resolved if you don't wait to plant out the trees.

    I recently bought several 3 year old seedlings of bald cypress (major tap root) which had the tap curved around the bottom of the grow pak.

    When I planted them out last fall I dug the hole deeper and washed all of the nursery soil off of the roots to see the tap root condition. Then place the tap root down and packed soil on it and pull (gently) up on the stem as I put more soil on the tap root.

    There may still be a slight curl to it but it is planted so the tap will help to stablize the tree as it grows.

    Just make sure you finish planting with the tree at the proper grade.
     
  7. tshanefreeman

    tshanefreeman ArboristSite Operative

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    While I totally agree with your (Jay's) statement, I do think that it is much easier to re-pot the seedlings before it becomes bound than it is to try and correct the problem three years down the road. But at the same time, in a perfect world, I'd be rich............ ha! Life is so ironic..........
     
  8. Shane Dunworth Crompton

    Shane Dunworth Crompton New Member

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    Hello: ive got 2 month old white oaks grown hydroponically and wonder if its ok to add miracle grow to the water
     
  9. Shane Dunworth Crompton

    Shane Dunworth Crompton New Member

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    Also when do i add soil? Ans when can i plant the seedlings?
     

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