Planting Out a tree

15 Jan 2008
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United Kingdom
As a unusual 'favours' gift from a wedding i attended a couple of years ago i was given a maple tree sapling (this later turned out to be an Oak tree sapling, but that's another story). The sapling was (and pretty much still is) about 18inches tall and is currently in a plastic plant pot in our kitchen. The tree seems to have an issue with the seasons with it just coming into leaf now and the leaves usually fall in the spring. Anyway, due to major changes to our garden i've not planted out the tree as yet but now the garden is sorted i'm ready to do so. My question is how and when should i do this? Would it be best to plant the tree in a large tub before planting in the ground or should i just choose a location and plant it in the ground. How can i go about getting it to aclimitise to the seasons correctly (i'm assuming its confused because it is indoors at present?). What time of year is best to put it outside?

Any tips would be greatfully appreciated to help me make sure i don't kill it off!!
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If it truly is a oak (no reason to doubt) i would put it out side during the day and in the garage or some where cold over night to get acclimatized to the the environment it will soon adjust then put in the ground when it is dormant usually between November and February if not too wet and the ground is not frozen.
Cheers oompah,

Yes its def an Oak tree. The couple getting married bought a few oak trees (intended for those guests who live on farms and have plenty of space to plant an oak tree) and lots of maple trees. However, as they get married in December and therefore bought the saplings in Novemeber, they had no leaves and so relied upon the garden centre's word which trees were which, as it turns out they ended up having nearly all Oak trees and hardly any maples, but no-one knew until the saplings started showing leaves!

Think i'll re-pot the tree in a large pot and do your inside by night, outside by day routine until it appears to know what time of year it is. Would an Oak tree sapling survive well in a large tub for a few years before planting it out when its a little bigger, or would i be better planting it out as soon as possible.
Personally i would plant it outside as soon as possible,Have you got a large garden if so plant well away from the house a oak grows to about 100 plus ft tall but it will take a 100 yrs to get there.If not plant it in a tub it will restrict its growth.If you go for the tub option it will need lots of water in the summer months.
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I would definitely reconsider planting it outside. Oaks are not a normal garden tree but more suited to woods and field boundaries. They need a LOT of room and the roots are deep ones.

They will dominate any garden skyline and dwarf most other varieties with the exception of the Chestnut.

My neighbour has an oak that he reckons is 80 years old. It basically covers 4 gardens. (Luckily not mine). I will take a pic of it tomorrow.... It is BIG. Other people are already demanding that it be pruned. ( They may be trouble ahead!!!)

I have heard rumours that the neighbour will apply for a TPO on it. All this is hassle one doesn't need! :)
Thanks Toptec. When i found out it was an Oak my first response was 'we aren't planting an Oak tree in our garden' but everyone i told said i should do as its so slow growing it wont cause me an issue in my lifetime. I think i might stick it in a big tub for a few years until its a bit bigger and then speak to the in-laws about planting it in the ground 'down on the farm'!

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