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How to Plant Acorn Seeds

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

What better way to create a living artifact than by planting a small acorn. When you plant acorn seeds, you can have the benefit of watching the acorns sprout and grow into towering and majestic oak trees. Although a mature oak tree can take years to develop into a large tree, the experience of watching the tiny seedling grow into a tree can enrich and enlighten both young and old alike.

Select the planting area carefully. A mature oak tree will grow to heights of up to 80 feet and may become as wide as 135 feet. Do not plant acorn seeds near buildings, power lines, other trees or other structures.

Saturate the planting area with the garden hose down to a depth of one foot approximately three days before you want to plant the acorns.

Cultivate the soil with the garden spade down to a depth of approximately 10 inches. Use the spade to break up clumps of soil. Smooth the soil surface before proceeding.

Plant three or four acorns in one area, with each acorn eight inches apart. It is unlikely that all the acorns will sprout so planting more than one will ensure that you get at least one sprouted acorn seed. Plant each acorn two inches deep, placing them on their sides in the planting hole. Cover the acorns with soil and water generously.

Place a three-inch layer of shredded mulch over the planting area after the oak seedlings emerge from the soil. Extend the mulch four feet out from the spot where you planted each acorn.

Keep weeds from growing within two feet of each acorn seedling.

Water deeply during dry weather, especially during the first two years of growth. Provide these deep waterings approximately three times over the entire growing season.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden hose
  • Garden spade
  • Trowel
  • Acorn seeds
  • Organic mulch (shredded bark or wood chips)


  • Plant acorns in late autumn or early spring.
  • If you collect acorns, plant them as soon as possible for best growing results. If you do not plant them immediately, refrigerate them in plastic bags until planting time.

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.