How to Plant Pin Oak Seeds


Pin oaks are known for their pretty leaves and pyramidal growth pattern. Landscapers have made the pin oak the most common native oak tree to be used in parks and along streets, according to Jeff Ball of American Forests, a world leader in planting trees for environmental restoration. The tree bears flattened little acorns with a sharp point. These acorns are the seeds that will form the new trees. Planting them is simple if you follow a few steps.

Step 1

Collect your pin oak acorns before the squirrels snatch them all up. Typically, they will fall in late September and through November. Remove all the caps, as they are not needed in the growth of a seedling. Store the acorns in a cool dark place over the winter.

Step 2

Fill tall narrow containers or one tall and wide container with potting soil. It should have drainage holes and be about 8 to 10 inches deep. This will allow the tap root to have room to grow down.

Step 3

Bury the acorns in the spring about an inch down in the soil. This could be done outside, but there is a good chance that squirrels will find them, so starting seedlings inside will ensure you get a healthy start with your acorns. Pat the soil down on top.

Step 4

Water the planted seed until water flows from the bottom of the container. Don't water it again until the top of the soil is feeling dry, and then lightly water every few days. Keep the container in a sunny 50- to 60-degree room. The acorn should germinate about the same time the leaves on the trees outside start budding.

Step 5

Transplant the seedling outside when it is between four and eight inches tall and when the weather has warmed and all danger of frost has passed. You can protect it with a tree-shelter collar to keep it from being eaten. Keep all weeds away within a three-foot diameter, and water each week for the first year.

Things You'll Need

  • Pin oak acorns
  • Tall planting containers
  • Potting soil


  • Planting Depth Effects and Water Potential Effects on Oak Seedlings Emergence and Acorn Germination
  • How to Plant Acorns
  • Pin Oak
Keywords: pin oak seeds, plant acorns, transplant pin oak

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.