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How to Plant White Oak Trees

By Anna Aronson ; Updated September 21, 2017

White oak trees are grown in many parts of North America and are found in abundance in many parts of the Eastern United States. The trees, which grow slowly but can live for hundreds of years, can be as much as 100 feet tall with a canopy of between 50 feet and 80 feet, making them good shade trees. The wood from the trees has many uses, including furniture, flooring and barrels. Additionally, the acorns produced by the trees are an important food source for many wild animals.

Find a site to plant your white oak tree. The trees can tolerate many soil conditions but prefer a moist, well-draining and acidic soil. White oaks also should be planted in full sun. Be sure when choosing a site to select a location that has plenty of room for the tree to grow and mature.

Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the sapling's entire root structure. The size of the root ball will depend on the age of the tree.

Place the sapling in the ball firmly but gently. The bottom of the root ball should rest solidly on the earth, but take care not to crush the root system by pushing it down into the ground too hard.

Fill the hole in with the surrounding dirt. Pack the dirt down firmly so no air bubbles remain in the soil.

Water the white oak tree thoroughly immediately after planting so it can begin to establish its roots in its new location. Although oak trees will not need to be watered after becoming established, they should be watered regularly during the first growing season when there is no rain in the forecast.

 

Things You Will Need

  • White oak sapling
  • Shovel
  • Water

Tips

  • White oaks can be difficult to transplant, even as saplings. For best results, only plant the trees in the spring.
  • When planting a white oak, use only saplings that have their root balls wrapped in burlap.
  • It will take many years before a white oak begins to produce acorns. Trees grown in the wild may begin to produce acorns in about 20 years, but it can take as long as 50 years.

About the Author

 

Anna Aronson began working as a journalist in 2000 and spent six years at suburban Chicago newspapers before pursuing freelance work. She enjoys writing about health care topics, in particular obstetrics, pediatrics and nutrition. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and is now studying for a Master of Science in medicine degree to become a physician's assistant.