The Q&A Archives: Planting Pinecones And Acorns

Question: How do you plant Acorns from Oak Trees and Pinecones?

Answer: Acorns may take a long time to grow. You would follow the model of the squirrel and bury the acorn as soon as it falls off the tree in the fall. Eventually it will root downward, and then eventually it will send up a shoot. You should plant it outside where you want the tree to grow as they are difficult to transplant.

Pinecones actually hold a number of seeds, one at the top of each prong. Usually by the time the seeds are ripe the birds and critters begin to eat them so it may be difficult to harvest ripe seed for planting on your own. Most types of pine seed will germinate quickly without pretreatment but will not suffer over the winter, so plant freshly harvested seeds outside in the fall (the cone will begin to open when the seeds are ripe) and watch for seedlings. Doing this will also provide a suitable cold chilling period for any seeds that do require it, such as the white pine (Pinus strobus).

Have fun with your tree planting!

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