Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)


Fruit and Seed


Propagation Method

Seed collection: Bur oak fruit is a nut commonly called an acorn. They form along the branches. Harvest the fruit in the fall after the acorn becomes brown or tan. Seeds can be collected after they fall to the ground. The cup is usually removed from the acorn prior to storage or germination. It is common to find weevils in acorns and they can destroy the ability of the seed to germinate. You can determine if the acorns have weevils by placing them in water. Acorns that float usually contain weevil damage and should be discarded. Only save the acorns that sink. They can be stored for short periods (~ 1 year) in air tight containers in the refrigerator if the seeds are not permitted to dry out.

Seed dormancy: Bur oak may be non-dormant or have physiological dormancy depending on the seed source.

Seed germination: Sow seeds immediately after harvest. If they do not germinate within two weeks, stratify seeds using moist chilling for 30 days to satisfy physiological dormancy. Following stratification, sow seeds in a nursery container to produce a seedling or sow them in a plastic container in the classroom to observe germination.

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