Fertilizing oak trees

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SHKYBoonie
 
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Fertilizing oak trees

Postby SHKYBoonie » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:20 am

Can anyone tell me what fertilizer is best for oak trees? I have several areas that have a good many White Oaks but they don't seem to produce very well. I figured going in and raking the leaves from underneath them and fertilizing them good might help. I know it will make the wildlife use them more.

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Goose
 
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RE: Fertilizing oak trees

Postby Goose » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:24 am

Triple 19,13, and 10 will work fine. I believe it is recommended at 1lbs per dbh. So a 15" diameter tree at breast height would take 15 lbs of fert at drip edge.

I have also read/heard where this approach does not benefit mast production, if anything it just helps the tree grow as a whole.
You may be better off thinning trees around the oaks, so that the oak has less competition. That is what we have been doing the past few years and it seems to help.
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69Viking
 
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RE: Fertilizing oak trees

Postby 69Viking » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:38 am

ORIGINAL: Goose

Triple 19,13, and 10 will work fine. I believe it is recommended at 1lbs per dbh. So a 15" diameter tree at breast height would take 15 lbs of fert at drip edge.

I have also read/heard where this approach does not benefit mast production, if anything it just helps the tree grow as a whole.
You may be better off thinning trees around the oaks, so that the oak has less competition. That is what we have been doing the past few years and it seems to help.


I think a combination of both of what you have suggested would do the trick. I mean a fertilized tree that gets more light will be healthier and in the end that tree should produce a better mast crop. It will probably take a couple of years but it should work. Good luck!

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SHKYBoonie
 
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RE: Fertilizing oak trees

Postby SHKYBoonie » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:52 am

Yeah Goose, we have had them thinned several years back. The oak trees lost alot of limbs in the ice storm. The area biologist say that is the reason we didn't have a very good mast crop this year. They say the trees were to busy trying to replace the limbs they lost and until that happened they wouldn't put the energy into producing alot of acorns. I'm just trying to help them out however I can.
 
I did read from several sources that raking the leaves from under the oak trees draws the wildlife to those trees. The only reason being that the acorns are easier to get to. The down side of it is that they will also eat them alot faster and move to another spot sooner.
 
We have several nice oak groves on my property. They are just littered with red and white oaks. Some of the best producing trees I have are out in the pastures by themselves. The deer don't seem to use these trees though. It might be that the cattle usually completely maul these trees when they start to drop. The farmer that runs cattle on that farm lost a few to eating too many acorns this year. We may block the cattle off of them next year. Maybe the deer will start using them then.
 
I'm putting alot of energy into helping the natural brows this year. If I can just get a few of these oaks healthy so they will have the nutrients to devote to acorns, the deer may stay on my farms longer. The oaks are just part of the whole plan.

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RE: Fertilizing oak trees

Postby colomabuck » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:02 pm

Save your money on fertilizing your oak trees, it won't help unless you dig down at the drip line a couple of feet. Find the trees that have the best canopy and work on those trees to be your mast production trees. If they are older than 80 years and have broken branches, your better off removing them and start new with there root suckers off there stumps.

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SHKYBoonie
 
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RE: Fertilizing oak trees

Postby SHKYBoonie » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:14 pm

Thanks colomabuck, but I don't plan on being here long enough to cut my Oaks and wait on regeneration. Most of the oaks are between 20 and 30 years old on the farm.  There are some that are much older, but these are the ones in the pastures. From the looks of the old stumps through the woods, the trees have been select harvested several times. I do not want to cut anything unless it is going to be a bigger benefit in the long run. Where these oaks are growing now the Forest floor is thriving with growth ever year. During the Winter when the leaves drop you can see from one end of them to the other. They aren't crowded by any means.

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RE: Fertilizing oak trees

Postby msbadger » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:47 pm

 A 30 ft crown spacing is said to good...also I might suggest a slow release nitrogen fertilizer in the realm that Goose mentioned....a quick shot of nitrogen as been shown to increase the chances of Oak Wilt which is on the increase...

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shaman
 
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RE: Fertilizing oak trees

Postby shaman » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:17 am

ORIGINAL: SHKYBoonie

Can anyone tell me what fertilizer is best for oak trees? I have several areas that have a good many White Oaks but they don't seem to produce very well. I figured going in and raking the leaves from underneath them and fertilizing them good might help. I know it will make the wildlife use them more.


I'd say you should just wait for it.  My white oaks may go a couple of years not producing well and then they let loose with a torrent of acorns.  2006 was a banner year for my oaks-- 2007 too.  2008 and 2009 were bust.  They generally run in a 10 year cycle.  Biologists think this is a way the oaks have of controlling the squirrel population.  You get a few good years of acorn production and then it goes bust and the squirrels also go bust.  Then the oaks start producing acorns again and now there are no squirrels around to eat them.
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ranwin33
 
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RE: Fertilizing oak trees

Postby ranwin33 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:23 am

You might try the tree spikes you can get from your local nursery or hardware store.  Those will at least allow you to get the fertilizer down into the ground.
 
But like others have said, I wouldn't look for the fertilizer to give the crop a big boost.  And you may actually increase competition around the oaks as other lower growing shrubs and plants benefit from the fertilizer.
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SwampLife
 
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RE: Fertilizing oak trees

Postby SwampLife » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:33 am

i used those spikes on some apple trees, they worked great. the trees i fertilized produced much more fruit than the other apple trees in the area. the deer seemed to be drawn to the fertilized trees as i had hoped.

dont know if they will be as successful on oaks, but i was planning on giving them a try next season.
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