Garry Oak Acorns (Quercus garryana)
Garry oak (also sometimes described as Oregon white oak) naturally occurs from British Columbia to California. It’s arguably the most well-known savannah overstory tree in the Northwest, and once occupied more than a million acres of fire-adapted landscape, providing dappled shade over diverse grasslands and wildflower meadows. These same lands were the first ones lost to development and agriculture, resulting in the cutting of many oaks. In other cases, where fires have been suppressed, Doug fir has replaced oaks as the dominant species.
Oaks have a reputation for being slow and difficult to establish from seed, but in our experience, the acorns germinate fairly easily. We recommend growing them in very deep containers to allow for maximum root development over at least a full growing season before transplanting them into the field. Note: We recommend planting the acorns sideways, lightly buried, in loose, well drained media with at least 10 inches of depth for root growth in the first year. The soil should be kept damp, but not wet, and once they are actively growing, the young seedlings should be maintained in a lightly shaded location.
Once ready for transplanting, garry oaks thrive best with full sunlight, but they are very adaptable in their tolerance of different soil conditions. We have found them growing on dry, south-facing slopes in some places, or in poorly drained valleys where they are prone to spring flooding. Our closest wild population grows on a slope less than a dozen feet above a saltwater lagoon.
Growing your own oak tree from an acorn is a process, but a fun one, especially with kids. With very careful tending and minimal root disturbance when you transplant your seedling, you can end up with a slow growing, long-lived tree that could remain for centuries.
Approximately 20 acorns.