The seeds are collected fresh from the trees and are stored in a refrigerator to ensure viability. They are float tested to remove non-viable seeds so that all of the seeds should be viable.
Quercus nigra, commonly called Water oak or possum oak, is a medium sized deciduous (sometimes semi-evergreen in southern areas) oak of the red oak group that typically grows in a conical form to 50-80’ tall with a broad rounded crown. Trunk diameter extends to 3.5’. Brownish gray bark becomes grayish black with age with rough scaly ridging. Water oak is native primarily from New Jersey to Florida and Texas, extending northward along the Mississippi River valley to western Kentucky, southern Illinois and Missouri. It is typically found in low woodland areas, floodplains and along streams and rivers. Insignificant monoecious flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring. Fruits are broad-rounded acorns (to 1/2” long) in short-stalked cups with woolly scales. Acorns are a source of food for wildlife. Narrow, smooth-margined, spatula-shaped, oblong leaves (2-4” long and 1-2” wide) are three-lobed to entire at the tips. Leaves are dull bluish-green above and paler with pubescence beneath. Old leaves tend to drop in late fall to early winter, but may persist on the tree throughout most of the winter in the southern parts of the growing range (particularly within USDA Zones 8-9). A medium oak for moist areas or lowspots. Has been used as a street tree and shade tree, particularly in southern towns and cities.
The seeds have only a mild dormancy and can be planted without a stratification period.
- Put a mixture of potting soil and sand, perlite or vermiculite in a pot. Use pots with a drainage hole in the base.
- Sow the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds. Keep the soil moist but not wet.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.