Hi. I found a sprouted nut while digging up a flower bed. And out of pure curiosity I put it in a plastic pot on my deck. I now have an oak tree growing. I am wondering when is the best time to plant this in the ground and will it survive the winter.
Currently it is on my deck on the south east corner and gets morning sun and afternoon shade. Where I plan to plant it will be on the north side of my yard.
What a lovely idea to have started an oak tree from seed/nut. However, before you plant your tree, please note that oak trees take a deep commitment and investment in time and space. They can grow up to 30 metres/100 feet high, and have deep roots. White oaks live up to 600 years and grow 18″ annually, while red oaks live up to 500 years and grow 24″ annually.
The oak tree is now the official tree of Toronto: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/city-of-toronto-symbols/torontos-official-tree/. Growing an oak tree is a great support for biodiversity. They have fire-resistant bark, and are host to hundreds of insects and birds. The naturalist and etymologist Doug Tallamy from Delaware University says that oak trees support 534 types of butterflies and moths.
A previous question to the Toronto Master Gardeners about planting a three-year-old oak tree may be of interest to you. It covers such issues as the ability to overwinter a small oak tree seedling in a pot, when to plant it in the garden, and directions on how to plant a tree. It is much better to get your seedling out of the plastic pot, and plant it in the soil. The best time to plant it is in the fall.
Here is a link to Landscape Ontario’s guidelines for planting a tree:
I hope your oak tree thrives, with your care, for many centuries.