In my front yard there is a white oak, now at about thirty feet and spreading, that I grew from an acorn. Its amazing how quickly they grow in their youth.
I planted the tree seedling about 20 years ago and have already sprouted its progeny. I have also harvested and planted acorns from the "Friendship Oak",
a treasured live oak known to be over 500 years old. It is located on the
campus of The University ofSouthern Mississippi, Gulf Coast in Long Beach Mississpi. I have planted two daughter trees in my backyard and have
given away more than I can remember.
The point: oaks are amazingly easy to grow. Fill a large pot or tub with
good soil. Lay numerous acorns on the surface, cover with maybe an inch
of soil, place in a protected location, water well, and most important,
cover the container with a screen to exclude squirrels and other rodents.
When seedlings have reached 8-12 inches in height, carefully dig and
transplant to medium sized stock pots and care for them until large enough
to put into the ground. A large number of seedlings can be grown by sowing
the acorns into a prepared garden bed and covering the area with protective screen.
Most communities have at least one magnificent oak. Growing its progeny
for the future is a soul-satisfying way of passing that beauty to future generations.
Sort of a PS: When selecting acorns, discard those with a telltale
spot on their side as those are likely hosting an acorn worm.
It must be a wonderful feeling to enjoy the shade provided the tiny acorn you planted all those years ago. I have heard about that live oak, because my school participated in the Historic Tree program (we planted a sycamore that alas did not make it). Is this the parent of your tree?
Oh my gosh, That tree! It is something else. Notice they don't grow in Michigan. I lived up there for just a few years. Although the people were great and they could grown white birches, I still missed oaks. I could grow your white oak in Ky I noticed, but I bet it will never ever get to be that huge monster I just looked at. Those lower branches, I love it. Aren't oaks amazing!
Liquidamber2 - The largest white oak that I remember is a beautiful
giant growing at a road junction, next to the Oak Lea Store, in Robinson
Township about 10 miles east of Grand Haven, Michigan. When I was a boy
(so very long ago) that tree always had a tire swing and the store always
had a cold Nehi or a big RC. What a great spot on a hot summer's day.
I last saw it 2 years ago when I visited my dying brother. I've changed, but
it hadn't. All the cold Michigan winters had not fazed it. I hope it's a forever
Americans do move around a lot don't they!
My father and mother-in-law lived in Gulf Port for many years. My husband and I spent every Christmas down there for a decade.
I have a sister-in-law that lives in Forrest County, Miss now, her husband works for the forest service.
I tried growing oaks in Michigan, but it was in the bay area, and that might be the reason the winters were so hard on them, it was close to the water table. I did not think of that. I planted lots of stuff and then the next spring if they did not die they were sure close to death, so I assumed oaks in Michigan was not in the cards. ]
But it was pretty up there, anyway! Very nice maples and the color of the fall!!!. I loved the huge flat fields and watching the farmers working them. It was something to watch what was a piece of huge farm machinery look like a tiny tractor in a huge beet field; with a whole cloud of sea gulls swarming overhead.
There were huge ditches everywhere, with cattails growing, and black wing black birds nesting in them. The roads were all so very straight and flat -bicycle heaven! Lots of long legged turkeys and to my surprise ring neck phesants were very common! The people were the best though, they were super friendly and open.
But now that you mentioned your beloved oak, my daughter went to college up there and during a field trip she visited a park where there were hundreds of huge stumps left from were they had been cut many years ago! She said they told her that the bay area was once a timber Mecca at one time.
Oh, I just remember something else -- I had a great uncle that took his family, left Kentucky, and went to the Bay area in the 1930s to cut timber. He was killed by a run away team of mules in the Bay area.
I wonder what those big trees were? Do you think they could have been oaks?
I am sorry about your brother. That oak tree will have even more of a bittersweet meaning to you now.