What Type of Soil Does an Oak Tree Grow in?

Overview

Oak trees are deciduous trees that can grow to heights of 100+ feet in height with an equally expansive crown spread. This large tree is often referred to as the Majestic Oak and can live more than 200 years. This long lifespan is directly related to the type of soil in which it is planted, as it requires very little care after it is established.

Step 1

Plant the oak tree in a location that provides at least eight hours of direct sunlight, good air ventilation and nutrient-rich soil. The soil's nutrients are essential for the tree's development. The nutrient combination should include a good combination of magnesium, calcium, potassium, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur. The tree will use the combination of nutrients, along with the sunlight and water, to produce the nutrients that it needs to grow strong and healthy.

Step 2

Test your soil's pH levels and match them to the specific oak tree selection. There are several different kinds of oak trees, including the Northern Red, Live, Southern Red, White and Willow, to name a few. Though the oak tree is a very adaptable tree, each variation requires a certain degree of acidity in its soil. The general oak tree pH levels should rest between 3.6 and 7.0. However, the exact requirements will be determined by the type of oak that is selected.

Step 3

Ensure that the oak tree's soil is well-irrigated. The average mature oak tree will consume more than 50 gallons of water per day. Therefore, a well-drained location is not necessary. Still, the tree's consumption requires that the tree receive ample amounts of water to ensure vigorous and healthy growth. Young trees should be watered regularly to help with establishment. The tree will grow an extensively deep taproot which will allow the mature tree to pull water from the ground, compensating for any lack of water between rainfalls.

Step 4

Fertilize your tree's soil to improve the soil's acidity levels and nutrients. Use a well-balanced fertilizer that contains a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, magnesium and calcium. This combination of nutrients will help produce chlorophyll, improve rigidity, regulate functions and increase proteins. Oak trees that lack deep green foliage or seem to be stunted can be improved with high levels of nitrogen. In this case, using a 30-10-10 combination will be quite helpful for the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Oak Tree
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • pH Soil Tester

References

  • Interesting Facts About Oak Trees
  • Oak Trees
  • Growing Oak Trees From Seeds
Keywords: planting an oak tree, oak tree soil requirements, what type of soil for oak trees

About this Author

Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.