How to Plant an Acorn Seed


Some of the largest trees in the world come from tiny acorns. Mighty oaks take many years to grow and can produce acorns well past the planter's lifetime. Planting acorn seeds is a great pastime with children, as they can then watch the trees grow. Gather acorns from local, healthy oaks. These seeds will be best adapted to your area and will be available during the appropriate planting season.

Step 1

Gather acorns in the early fall. Choose acorns still attached to the tree, just as they begin to turn from green to brown.

Step 2

Remove the cap from each acorn. If the caps are difficult to remove, the acorns are not yet ripe and should be kept in the fridge for two to three weeks until the caps easily twist off.

Step 3

Select the right site for your species of oak. If you gather acorns from local varieties, look for an area with similar conditions. Most oak species prefer six to eight hours of sunlight a day and well-draining soil.

Step 4

Dig a hole 6 inches deep and 1 inch to 2 inches wide. Thoroughly turn the soil and replace dirt to facilitate healthy root growth.

Step 5

Lay three or four acorns on their sides 1 inch below the soil surface. Cover with dirt and space each group of acorns 6 feet to 10 feet apart.

Step 6

Pull weeds in a 1-foot to 2-foot radius around each seed site to reduce competition from other plants.

Step 7

Once seedlings emerge, spread a 1-inch to 2-inch layer of mulch around the base to help conserve soil moisture and reduce weeds.

Tips and Warnings

  • Protect young oaks from animals by installing a screen cage around each seedling.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Shovel


  • LA Parks: Oak Tree Care
  • Phytosphere Reaserch: Growing California Oaks
  • Santa Margarita Community Forestry: How to Plant Acorns
Keywords: acorn seed, plant acorn, oak tree, grow acorn

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.