Bur Oak Acorn Planting


Bur oaks receive the name from the bur cap on the large acorn. The acorns can reach a size of 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches in diameter and are a great food source for wildlife. The bur oak can take a long time to grow, and when the tree reaches maturity can be extremely large, according to Utah State University Forestry department. It may prove difficult to start new trees from the large acorns. Among the problems: the large and abundant nutmeat may be dug up by wildlife for a food source as fast as the seeds can be planted.

Step 1

Collect the bur acorns as soon as the nuts hit the ground. Discard any acorns that have small holes or are cracked.

Step 2

Remove the bur cap from the acorn. Place the acorns in the bucket. Fill the bucket with water. Discard any acorns that are floating. Keep only the sinkers. The sinker acorns contain the best nutmeat for tree germination.

Step 3

Dry the acorns with paper towels. Place the acorns in a plastic bag.

Step 4

Set the acorns in the refrigerator to stratify for up to 90 days. Stratification is the treatment of seeds by cold temperatures in order for that seed to germinate.

Step 5

Remove the acorns from the cold temperatures. Fill the 6-inch diameter pots with quality potting soil.

Step 6

Insert two bur oak acorns per pot at an equal distance from each other. Keep the soil moist. Place the pot in a safe location away from rodents and where it can receive plenty of sunlight.

Step 7

Transplant the new seedlings outdoors after one year to two years of growth. You can easily separate the two seedlings from each other after the first year and repot them into separate containers if needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Bur oak acorns
  • Plastic bucket
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic bags
  • Refrigerator
  • Potting soil
  • 6-inch diameter pot


  • North Dakota Extension Service: Questions on Oak
  • Utah State University: Bur Oak
  • University of Minnesota: Guide to Oak Management
Keywords: large acorns, bur oak, plant acorns

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.