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My oak won’t get bigger

I’ve had my oak tree for easily 7 years now, however it’s still only 7inches high. It buds every year though only 1-5 will leaf. It was in the ground initially but that was just to get it to propagate, since then it’s lived in huge pots in order to give it room to grow, except it never has. I’ve tried feeding it which hasn’t produced any results. last month I moved it into a smaller pot, it still has tones of room as it’s roots have never got that big either and brought it inside in a chance that helps? I don’t know what to do to get it growing


  • Here is the tree, currently living on the window ledge
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,573
    Shouldn't it be outside?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    It sounds like your tree may have a genetic mutation - was it grown from an acorn?
    If so, only a proportion of acorns are fully viable and it will likely never do well whatever you try.  It may be good as a Bonsai though!  I would advise planting more acorns if you want to grow a full-size Oak tree, as the one under discussion is unlikely to ever do well.  Trees do need to be permanently grown outside and bringing it inside will only make things worse.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • UpNorthUpNorth Posts: 376
    yeah, but good effort though, persevering that many years.    but as said...try again.   try some sycamore or ash seeds, they proliferate.   if you don't have trees nearby, just go to parks in autumn, grab a few dozen off the ground and away you go.    

    but do also think, where will you put that MASSIVE tree when it's five, six seven year old?   as you've noted, pots will constrict roots somewhat.  

    if you want a fast going tree you can pot, try getting some paulownia tormentosa seeds, they're easy to grow, and SO FAST you wo'n't believe it.   you can 'coppice' it to keep it at a sensible height and it comes back with serious vigour in mid spring.

  • Oak are not known for being fast growing and yours looks healthy so it might just have decided on biding its time until more light becomes available and it gets its chance to reach the forest canopy like when an older tree decides to fall over. I think your best bet for getting it to grow is putting it outside in a place that gets good light and keeping it free of plants that might keep it in shade and convince it it is still under more mature trees. It might not be getting enough light indoors to convince it that it is time to shoot up to take its place as a mature tree in the forest.

    I have moved a six foot tall oak to a place it had a chance to grow more and it has stopped growing and is currently only about five foot tall after some branches got diseased and died back. I have also planted a three foot tall one that decided to shoot up and is now taller than another healthy one planted near to it that had a two year head start. They can be variable as to how fast they decide to grow and even one that I had that was stunted in its growth in one position is now growing well after I moved it to another spot that it liked better.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,523
    A trick we Bonsai enthusiasts use to get saplings to grow bigger is to plant directly into the ground and dig up each year to trim the roots.
    My Mum did this for a Ginkgo but forgot the digging up each year so now has a 20ft tree in her garden!!!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • Thanks everyone, I shall stick it back outside.  my other oak stayed small too, planted same time as this one. Then rocketed up a few months ago, then donated it to a local school
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