Sunday, July 12, 2015

Northside Oak Grows at Pinehaven

 I have always loved the Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and yet there are none at Pinehaven, and none locally that I know of. I have not seen one in any local yard and yet this oak is perfect for such places.
 A member of the White Oak family, the Bur Oak is best known for its distinctive "shaggy" acorn.

Bur Oak Acorn
Photo takes 09/05/15 - this is the parent tree in Northside

 Back in the fall, when Tom and I visited Miami University in Oxford, we marveled at one of these oaks on the campus. I did not see any seedlings at that time, and wouldn't have dug one up on campus anyway.

 But in Northside, within the same block as Tom's apartment, and living in Hoffner Park, is a beautiful, mature Bur Oak. Earlier this year Tom and I noticed a few fallen acorns that were beginning to sprout. I put one in my pocket.

This mature Bur Oak lives at the north edge of Jacob Hoffner Park
Photo taken July 11, 2015

Jacob Hoffner Park - Northside

 When I got home I placed the acorn in a plastic planter with some good potting soil. I buried the acorn several inch down and waited.
 And waited. And waited ...
 When nothing appeared for a month, Tom dug down with his finger and found the acorn still-sprouted but showing little effort in growing. He moved the acorn closer to the top and suggested I keep the pot in full sun rather than the shady spot I had chosen. He also told me to keep the soil damp.

June 1

 By the first of June, the acorn has responded to the sun's warmth and Tom's guidance.

July 12

 Today the tiny oak has six leaves with more developing. The summer weather seems to have spurred it on.

 We have two ash trees that have been killed by the Emerald Ash Borer. We've already contracted to have them removed. This tiny oak will be planted towards the south edge of our yard, where one of the ash's spent so many decades.

 These are slow-growing trees, easily living to 300 years and even more. I'll never see it mature but a future resident of Pinehaven will have Tom and I to thank.

 You're welcome.

Follow up: The Bur Oak has grown all summer in a plastic pot on the back porch. In the last month I added a layer of local soil to the top per Tom's suggestion. Today, with the south ash gone, I planted the Northside Bur Oak just east of where it stood. Here is it, in the ground:

August 25 2015 : Planted!

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