The oak tree (Quercus) has served the earth well throughout the ages, providing food, warmth and shelter. There are over 600 species of oak, grown all over the planet, with several species harvested for wood. Growing your own oak trees from the seeds, or acorns, of the tree is easy. Collect acorns in the early fall by picking them from the tree or knocking them down with a long pole.
Remove the caps from the acorns by twisting them off.
Mix together the bleach and the water in a large bucket. Place the acorns in the solution and allow them to soak for five minutes. Discard any acorns that float to the top of the solution, drain the rest and spread them out on newspapers to dry.
Place the acorns in the plastic bag, seal it, and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the acorns to remain for one month. Check the acorns periodically for signs of mold. Rinse the mold, allow the acorns to dry and place them back in the bag. If any of the acorns appear to be sprouting, remove them and plant them immediately.
Prepare a sunny area of the yard for planting. Remove all turf and weeds. Dig into the soil to a depth of 5 inches and turn it, either with the shovel or a gardening fork. Crush any pieces of soil larger than your fist. Level the area with the rake.
Dig a 1-inch hole in the soil for each acorn that you will be planting. Place the acorn on its side in the hole and cover it with soil, tamping the soil firmly. If the acorn has germinated, place the sprouted end pointing down into the hole.
Water the area until the water begins to puddle. Give the baby oak trees three to four gallons of water twice during their first two summers. If the weather is exceptionally dry you may consider an extra watering.
Pour the mulch onto the planting area and spread it in a circle, 2 feet in radius, around the seedling when it sprouts. Do not allow the mulch to touch the new plant.
Protect the acorn from predators by building a cage around it. Doug McCreary, natural resources specialist with the University of California, suggests forming pieces of aluminum screen (18 by 18 inches) into cylinders, folding the cylinders closed at the top and then stapling the cylinders to a stake. Drive the stake into the ground over the area where the acorn is planted.