English oak tree from acorn

(Question)

Good afternoon,
I am attempting to grow an English oak from an acorn.

I have 4 acorns, each with a different length of tap root. From 4 inches to an acorn just about to expose the root. I have each of them in a container with drainage and fertilized potting soil. They are planted at a depth of approximately 1/2 inch.
My question is:

What is the best temperature and light exposure to promote the formation of a seedling over the winter?
They are currently inside on a window ledge.
I have included a photo of my longest tap root

I appreciate your guidance

(Answer)

Thank you for writing for propagation advice on your unique winter project, and for your interesting photo of your wee germinating oak acorn.

The English oak is a medium-large tree, up to 25 – 35 m (82′ – 114′) with thick branches, a broad, full crown, that is sometimes uneven, and a large stout trunk — and non-native to Canada. However, although originating in Europe, Quercus robur L., has become a popular park tree in Toronto, and is also available via the City of Toronto’s tree planting program.

Growing oak trees from acorns is not especially tricky. Acorns of most oak varieties will germinate, sprout and thrive without too much fuss, as many gardeners with acorn-burying squirrels in their neighbourhoods will attest. You have done very well thus far, with your 4 germinating acorns. Your interest in the nurture of oak seedlings indoors has been addressed in an earlier Toronto Master Gardener reply, with advice for yourself, and like-minded gardeners, of the necessary light, soil, temperature and water requirements. Please read: oak seedlings indoors.

Further, for insight into your future maturing tree, please see supplementary reading on facts about English oak.

May your acorns grow to be healthy, robust oak trees!