Strong, hardy oak trees flourish across the United States. They grow steadily, and create a wide canopy of shade. Oak trees drop hundreds of acorns during October and November. Oak trees available at nurseries can be costly. Instead of purchasing a tree from a grower, propagate oak trees from acorns in the fall or winter season.
Fill a small cup with potting mix. Use a high-quality potting mix rich in organic matter. Topsoil from your yard does not contain adequate nutrients to nurture a developing acorn. Use a pencil to poke a small hole in the bottom of the cup.
Moisten the potting mix with water, and allow the excess water to drain out of the cup. Acorns prefer and need moisture, but do not like to sit in wet environments.
Create a 1-inch deep well in the center of the potting mix with your finger. Drop the acorn into the well, and gently brush loose soil into the hole to cover the acorn.
Place the cup in a shady area of your yard, preferably shielded from wind and rain. Acorns need to spend approximately 90 days in temperatures of 40 degrees F or lower to germinate. If you live in the south where climates do not reach these temperatures, place the cup in the refrigerator so that it chills enough to store energy.
Gradually move the cup into a sunny area of your yard. Keep the soil moist--not wet--at all times, to promote strong root and seedling development.
Transplant the seedling to the yard after it develops a root system in the cup.