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Location: Hardiness Zone 7, Memphis, Tennesee

Sprouting not as quickly as I expected

I got a northern red oak acorn from my Nanny as a birthday present. I planted it in the pot that came with it on Feb 13. She got it from Seeds of Life in Barberville, FL and then shipped it to me in Columbus, OH.

There is something happening though that I didn't expect. My acorn is not sprouting yet. I saw a little green growth and thought that maybe it was my acorn sprouting but it was just some moss.

The instructions said to water it with 1/2 cup of water every 3 days and that as it grows, it will need more water. Didn't say anything about expected sprouting time though.

Could it have to do with the cold draft that started coming into our house last night? Or do acorns just not sprout as quickly as maple seeds?

I have grown maples several times and I can tell you from my experience, that if your maple is in the sun(not shade but sun, even dappled sunlight) that it will sprout 1-2 days after you plant it if you also give it a deep watering where you planted it.

They are a quick sprouting type of tree in ideal conditions. But cold snaps, shade, and waiting for rain can all delay sprouting of the maple.

Do acorns just not sprout as quickly in ideal conditions? Or is it because of the cold draft? I try to get as much natural light into the house as possible since once it has sprouted, I can grow it indoors for 45-60 more days but it still needs sun, even if I grow it indoors. But unfortunately that same thing that I do to bring natural light in can also bring a cold draft in.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Sprouting not as quickly as I expected

Hmm. I never expect non-tropical tree seeds to sprout until spring. I usually plant in fall as soon as I harvest the seeds -- I've tried oak acorns, chestnuts, pecans, peaches, persimmons, Asian pears, as well as Japanese Maple seeds actually....

Each time, I just left the pots outside with some protection from squirrels and chipmunks, and just made sure not to let them get water logged or dried out.... and they sprouted when they were ready in spring. Actually, chestnuts have also tended to unexpectedly germinate while in cold stratification in (a bag of moistened growing medium) the fridge or unheated garage -- I lost a few that way when I discovered them too late.
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Location: central Ohio

Re: Sprouting not as quickly as I expected

Yes, acorns need cold stratification in order to sprout. Put the pot outside where critters can't get the acorn. The root will grow many weeks before you'll see top growth. Then it will still be vulnerable to being eaten by squirrels, rats or chipmunks.

I had a sprouted acorn that I picked up in late October. I cut the top off a 2 liter pop bottle and planted the acorn in potting soil in the bottle. I set it beside our very drafty back door and the top didn't come up until March.

However, if your acorn had any weevils in it or had a chance to dry out it probably won't sprout.

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Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

Re: Sprouting not as quickly as I expected

generally the white oak family will sprout in fall and red oak in spring. i'd agree that if it didn't receive enough cold that stratification might solve the problem - though there's not a lot of stratification time left.

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