Acorns to OAK Trees- Part 1: Growing TREES from Seed

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hey and welcome to growing trees from

seed for string of episodes we'll be

looking at eight coins to open trades in

this episode we'll be looking at

searching for seeds start off by looking

at this beautiful oak tree leaf and this

is the red oak in Latin term Quercus

rubra and there's many different types

of oak trees in fact there's 400

different species of oak growing

throughout the mid-latitudes on our

planet so with the red oak being very

common in north america i decided to

focus in on that for this episode so as

you can see the red oak leaf has about

seven to nine lobes separated by a

rounded notches and a dead giveaway for

the red oak is the brilliant red color

that it gives off on the fall

now oak trees will also produce a fruit

known as the Acorn and the red oak acorn

is about 12 to 25 millimeters long in

the shape of a cup and saucer and acorns

from the black oak group will generally

take two growing seasons to develop

before falling from the tree and

starting its germination process so this

is a red oak seedling we're looking

right here and after the acorn have

spent two full growing seasons maturing

in the tree it will fall if not taken

away by a squirrel grow into this

beautiful seedling and seedlings will

fight and compete with other plants

searching out soil nutrients and light

and then take anywhere from three to ten

years before it will start producing an

annual seed crop and some trees might

even take up to 30 to 40 years before

producing any seeds so when trying to

identify oak trees in the field it's

important to start off by looking at the

Leafs in the bark of the tree and with

the leaves looking for the absence and

presence of lobes and teeth and then get

more critical by looking at the Acorn

and the texture of the twigs and

sometimes it's important to take a

picture or a sample bringing it home and

going into in-depth studies to see

exactly what species you're looking at

much satisfaction can be gained in the

gathering of seeds from oak trees

knowing that you are playing a very

important role in preserving the genetic

diversity of these local trees so let's

head back into the forest and I can show

you how to start looking for seeds and

start growing some trees so whenever I

head into the forest I always take my

seed collectors botany bag including

envelopes or

plastic bags for seed collection whether

they're dry or SAP filled pen and marker

to dictate what I found and where

exactly I found it

canvas sheet or tarp to collect your

seeds from shaking branch knife and

snips to look into acorns or take seed

collections and finally a water

container for your seed and field

testings we'll get into that later

so when searching up for seeds it's not

always needed to go into the darkest

deepest parts of the woods or far back

in the deep country in fact sometimes

the best locations to look for seeds and

trees that you're searching for are

right in a parking lot or beside a busy

road one of the most important things

you can do is keep notes on the

locations of species and times you

notice these locations fruiting and

flowers are present and use your seed

dispersal calendar as well another

simple seed searching technique is to

simply look down as the seeds fall from

the tree that can be dispersed by

squirrels chipmunks or Jays but they can

often be overlooked in a slow growing

season seeds can be taken away by

squirrels in as little as 2 or 3 days so

it's important to notice the squirrels

activities if you see a squirrel picking

up some acorns it's usually a good

indicator that it's a great time to

start heading out and looking for seeds

additionally have to be very careful

when picking up seeds from the ground

and that's why I always do a water test

if you find a seed from the ground or

even from the tree throw it in the water

and if it floats you're usually looking

at an off seed meaning that these acorns

once they're on the ground are now in

the hands of the insects and mainly the

weevil and weevils are a common insect

to look for when searching out acorns

what they'll do is drill a single hole

into an acorn and deposit a small egg

and over a 1 to 2 year period that egg

will grow into a larvae and slowly eat

the inserts and remains of what's left

in the inside of the acorn so just like

a stipple squirrel would do we're going

to examine the Acorn remove the cap and

what we're doing is looking for any

inconsistencies in an acorn such as

cracks small holes or an indication that

an insect may be present and if you

can't do this and want to be sure take a

peek inside the acorn and just see if

you can see anything what you should be

looking for is a nice perfect seed but

in this case looks like we found ourself

a friend

and as you can see this weevil larvae

has been chowing down on this delicious

acorn seed and unfortunately for us that

means it is not going to be good for

growing and we are going to have to

throw this back into the forest because

over the next two years he is going to

be continuing to chow down on the seed

and that's why I would recommend to

always take seeds from the tree if

possible remembering to only take what

you need and also like mentioned before

the best indicator of when to get seeds

is when they slowly start to turn color

from green to yellow into the brown or

watching these little tricksters the

squirrels because they've been doing it

far longer than we have and know how to

find the best acorns and not only that

but we're and one and as I've been

guarding the past few weeks I've noticed

this furry little friend running through

my yard carrying abundance of seeds and

acorns back and forth from early

mornings to dusk and he's been quite

busy getting ready for the winter so I

decided to throw on my camera and just

check out exactly what he's been working

with and though I've been searching for

seeds working hard over the past three

weeks I've never come across the seeds

as nice as these and he's been carrying

them by all day every day so I decided

to hold on to one and just kind of

document and show you guys how perfect

some of these seeds at the high tops of

these trees really are like I said they

know what they're looking for and just

like squirrels many other animals such

as weevils bears turkeys deer and

carrier pigeons they were all dependent

on acorns such as this until the habitat

destruction from the mid 1800s and now

it's common just for squirrels and Blue

Jays to be dependent on acorns so if

you're not feeling it as adventurous as

a squirrel a simple way to reach up to

some of those higher branches is simply

by getting a rope setting up a tarp

below it and throwing over a weighted

object tie to the rope to get around the

branch then by lowering down that object

you can then pull the branch down

slightly without damaging anything and

pick off a few acorns and if you feeling

adventurous feel free to climb up and

get as good as Pyxis some of those

squirrels do

and just remember to be careful when

climbing and if you're heading up higher

than a few branches I'd recommend that

you get some climbing gear or take it

upon yourself to learn how to climb a

tree and that's what I did I had my

brother as an educator and we had some

equipment available to us and we decided

to head on up and see if we can find

some better acorns and we were finding

on the ground below and again when

you're finding seeds up in the tree like

this you'll be assured that there are no

weevils or other insects investing those

acorns and you'll be able to find an

acorn just like this borough oak acorn

which unlike the red oak can be planted

right away so looking at the borough or

the Quercus macrocarpa it is part of the

white oak family and it only takes one

growing season to grow an acorn such as

this and as you can see it's got a funky

little hairdo and as you can see the cap

of this baroque acorn is covering about

three-quarters of the acorn itself and

so I've got my trusty water glass here

and I'm going to do a seed soundness

test by placing it right in the water

and seeing how it floats or sinks and

because of its long hairdo here I think

it's got some bubbles in the top cap but

sure enough the seed does sink and that

tells us that it is a sound seed and it

can be either saved or planted right

away and in part two of acorns two oak

trees we are going to be talking about

saving seeds in different ways you can

do that as well as germination and

growth but until then if you are

collecting acorns make sure that as soon

as they're picked or taken from the tree

or if you find them on the ground make

sure to put them in the refrigerator or

a cool dark place until you decide what

you're going to do with them and even

though all five of these acorns were

found in the tree itself you can see

that two of them still are floating and

that means that they may not be suitable

for saving or growing seedlings so

remove those and be sure to keep those

other three in the fridge until later

date so I hope you enjoyed the first

episode of growing trees from seed stay

tuned for part two acorns to oak trees

looking at germination trying to save

your acorns for future you thanks again

for watching please subscribe again see

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