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Planting out potted oak trees


About 7ish years ago I planted a few oak trees (English oak I think), and I now have 6 decent sized oaks growing in pots ready to be planted.

The space is there for them, but my question is should I choose a particular time of year to plant them out (like autumn), and is there anything I can do to help them grow healthy? By this I mean, has growing in a pot for seven years stunted their growth so they won't ever now grow to their full potential?


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,874

    I think they'll grow away when you plant them out, they won't have changed genetically. If you soil is diggable and you're prepared to keep them watered I don't see why not now. You'll need to tease the roots out if they're pot bound and make sure the surrounding soil is moist. A good watering on planting but lots now and again is better than little and often after that.

  • OnopordumOnopordum Posts: 390

    The main problem will be what the roots look like. Oak seedlings have a deep taproot which has probably curled round and round in the pot. Other roots likewise. Have you examined the roots at all?

    Autumn definitely the best time to plant. That way the roots have a chance to grow over the winter before the leaves come out in the spring. I don't know if it would work, but personally I'd probably take at least one out of the pot (at planting time), wash all the compost off and see what the roots are like. You'd need to cut out or shorten any which are circling to get back to a healthy framework from which it can grow new roots outwards. Better to have fewer roots than ones which will cause problems in future as they get thicker.

    Alternatively, in the long run it might be better to start again. You could even just sow acorns in the right area and look after the seedlings that come up.

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