Potted Oak tree seedlings

Asked May 7, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

I put 6 acorns in moist medium in the fridge last fall and they started rooting around January or so. I then planted them in 5" pots and have watered and put them in the sun on the porch as it got above freezing. As I planted my first one yesterday, I saw that the tap root ( about 1/8th inch diameter) had circled in the bottom of the pot. It's a fairly tight circle, too (about an inch around). Should I chalk this year's attempt up to learning, discard the lot of them, and try again next year with much taller pots, or will the tap root "find its own way down" and straighten out on its own? (I have a system in mind for my next attempt that would keep the root straight and intact at transplanting time even if it's up to 3 feet long)

Pennington County South Dakota trees and shrubs horticulture

2 Responses

I think it is worth a shot. Here's a way to make sure it all works out.

Plant 5 of them in the places you want to nurture them along. Stretch the root as well as you can without breaking it. Plant the last one in a deeper pot using the same method. Dig up the pot planted one at the end of the summer and see if you are happy with the results.

Over the course of many years and many roots, this flaw should prove to be insignificant.

Thanks for the advice. I looked at another pot today and found a much longer tap root that had circled a few times, but was much smaller in diameter. I gently straightened it out and had no reason to think I'd broken it in doing so. Maybe that's the one I should try to work with. thanks again.... Jerry M.