How To Grow Oak Saplings: 5 Tips And Tricks

Oak saplings are adorable. Have you ever wondered how to grow oak saplings? It is not as hard as you think. Actually, there are a lot more oak saplings than there are oak trees! Whenever an oak tree seed falls to the ground and grows, it becomes a sapling.

There is no one right way to grow oak saplings, but you can use our five innovative and foolproof tips and tricks to better their chances of survival! Even if you are a beginner and have never planted a tree, you should be able to follow along easily!

What Is An Oak Sapling?

Oak trees are abundant. There are at least 600 varieties in the world and 90 are native to North America alone. Oak trees are also some of the oldest trees in the world. Some have been recorded to live over 400 years. This is likely because when these trees grow, there are limited predators and diseases that can take them down.

Oak trees can easily reach 60 to 70 feet in height and grow next to each other. Sadly, most of the time saplings don’t live to grow to large adult trees. However, it takes oak saplings no time to grow and thicken when taken care of. In one year, you can watch as your oak sapling shoots up four feet!

Where Can You Grow Oak Saplings?

 Do oak trees need light to grow?

Oak saplings are found everywhere, not just in the United States. While most people think acorns are seeds, they are actually fruit. Oak trees bare fruit and can grow up to 2,000 acorns in one year! These interesting trees though need to mature before they can begin producing acorns. The average age for a tree to produce fruit is 20.

These plants are tough and need to be very neglected to die. You won’t have to worry much about your oak tree since it rarely needs assistance growing. They grow in versatile climates and are great for beginner gardeners and landscapers. Have your first home and a lot of land? Why not plant a hardy oak sapling in your yard.

How To Grow Oak Saplings Tips And Tricks

1. Choose the Right Seed

It is tempting to start right away, but not just any acorn or oak seed will do. Instead, I recommend doing as much research as possible to find the right seed. Don’t just pick one off of the floor to germinate and grow your oak sapling. Instead, find a local nursery or seed seller for seeds.

The seeds should also be labeled. Never purchase or plant a seed that is unfamiliar or labeled as simply ‘oak tree’. There are nearly 600 types of oak trees and not all of them require the same nutrients, sun, or watering.

2. Harvesting Good Acorns

This is a bit ahead, but we like to think that your sapling will grow into a large, mature, and happy tree. In 20 years, your tree will start producing acorns. But what do you do with acorns? While these fruit have a lot of nutrients, they can also be extremely dangerous to eat!

Instead, when you harvest your acorns, the best thing to do is to test them to see if they are good for planting and use them as decorations for Fall decor! In a large bowl of water dump your acorns. The ones that float to the top of the bowl are likely nonviable or empty. Sometimes this does not always work, but acorns are everywhere so one or two flukes isn’t bad.

3. Starting Seeds Indoors

The best way to give your oak sapling a fighting chance is to protect the seed and sapling as much as possible before it thickens and is ready to be planted in the ground. Some people start these trees immediately outside, but they are exposed to harsh temperatures, weather, and large hungry animals.

I recommend starting your seeds indoors. Do this by plating the seed when it is germinated and prepared in a small cup or plastic bottle. If you can, reuse and reduce. It is less expensive and better for the environment.

4. The Good Old Paper towel Trick

Have you ever heard of the paper towel trick? You will need four quick things a paper towel, water, your seed, and a ziplock bag. Make sure the bag closes properly. Too much air can ruin the trick! Wet your paper towel and place the seed in the center. Wrap the seed with the wet paper towel and place it into the bag.

Once the paper towel is in the bag, close the bag and poke one to three small holes. This lets humidity build up in the bag, which triggers some varieties of oak trees to germinate and grow as if they were in their natural environments.

Read more about How To Grow Moss Balls In 6 Easy Steps

 What do oak saplings need to grow?

5. 1,000 Hours of Cold

Although 1,000 hours may sound like a lot, it is only about 40 to 43 days. Some types of oak seeds require cold to germinate since they do this in winter underground. Place the seed in a plastic bag or paper towel and carefully put it in a refrigerator. Leave it cooling for 1,000 hours. This will wake up the seed, making it easier to germinate.

If you live in a cold area with Winter, this step is unnecessary.


In conclusion, oak saplings are everywhere. They are not rare plants and grow quickly, but they don’t always survive past four feet tall. In the wild, lots of animals try to consume young saplings because they are nutritious and small enough to chew.

Did you learn anything new through our article? Do you feel confident in your skills knowing how to grow oak saplings? Let us know your thoughts and questions down below in the comments section. Share this blog too with friends and families interested in growing their own oak saplings.

 Why won't my oak saplings grow?


Why won't my oak saplings grow?

Oak saplings struggle when they are not in the right environment. Saplings and young trees are fragile and too much water can stunt their growth.

How much space do oak trees need?

Oak trees need a lot of space since they grow rapidly! They require at least 15 to 25 feet to grow and should be planted far from your home.

Do oak trees need light to grow?

Oak trees need a lot of light! Actually, it grows well in 4-6 hours of direct sunlight.

What do dark oak saplings need to grow?

Dirt, light, and water are essential for saplings. Oak saplings also require fertilizer for quick growth.