How free draining should soil be for oak?

Mike Corazzi

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Do they need to have potting soil added or treat like pine with very free draining?
Quercus Robur.

???

I just repotted it today and the soil it was in seemed to be working ...ok... but it tended to stay wet longer than I'd like.
The soil it was in was rather dense close to the trunk. Chopstick needed to pick it out of denser patches. Did not remove all the old soil but only left some close to the trunk and placed it on the heap in the new pot.

Did not do much root pruning. Rearranged into the new rectangular pot.
It's in Hyuga pumice, lava and medium akadama. Light on the aka. It drains REALLY fast. Like immediate. Looks like the aka is staying damp by color.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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We use an APL mix for Oaks where I volunteer. I’m pretty sure it’s in close to a 2:1:1ratio.

cheers
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Potawatomi13

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but it tended to stay wet longer than I'd like
Instinct serves you well. Will not use krapadama here! Personal oaks do great in about 60% pumice, 40% sifted organic. Drains immediately holds moisture😊.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Absolutely no one has the corner on the knowledge of what media or type of media is the very best for another’s trees….

For me different types of media are like tools. Each one has a purpose, but other tools can be used for the same purpose, maybe not as well, but they’ll the job done.

But it’s always interesting to hear what others have to say about what is the best tool to use on a job! …or not to use. 😉

Cheers
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Bnana

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Quercus robur (small r) does not like wet soils. They grow poorly in wet locations and root very shallow there. So I'd use a freedraining soil, where you do not have areas that are anaerobic, for this species.
 

PaulH

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My oaks are all in akadama, pumice, lava, or sometimes I leave out the lava and just use pumice to replace it. All are happy and healthy. I know a few successful oak growers who add some kanuma to the mix for live oaks to lower the ph.
 

Cofga

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Which oaks? Swamp oaks like wetter conditions whereas chestnut and scarlet oaks like it dry. White oak is intermediate.
 

BrianBay9

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My California oaks are in nearly 100% pumice. The coast live oaks are used to very sandy soil. They do great, but I have to water and fertilize more often.
 

Bnana

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Which oaks? Swamp oaks like wetter conditions whereas chestnut and scarlet oaks like it dry. White oak is intermediate.
Qurcus robur, the European pedunculate oak, it's in the first post.
 

Mikecheck123

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Quercus robur (small r) does not like wet soils. They grow poorly in wet locations and root very shallow there. So I'd use a freedraining soil, where you do not have areas that are anaerobic, for this species.
Also, even for plants that love wetter conditions, the lever you pull is smaller particles rather than adding potting soil.

Adding potting soil is a good idea only for something like a willow and you can't keep up with the watering.
 

Mike Corazzi

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Also, even for plants that love wetter conditions, the lever you pull is smaller particles rather than adding potting soil.

Adding potting soil is a good idea only for something like a willow and you can't keep up with the watering.
My use of potting soil is only SPRINKLING it. Not digging in clumps.
Remember, I live in a kiln/forge/oven here.
 

rockm

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I use regular bonsai soil for my live oak. The soil has an organic component, sifted pine bark at about 20 percent. Oaks tend to develop mycorrhizae colonies in their soil (at least mine does). I've found a bit of organic component helps that (and no, I don't add myc to the soil. It shows up on its own).
 

RKatzin

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When I walk through the forest here I see every type of tree growing up out of the same soil. The soil content will vary from zone to zone, but I see the same trees growing everywhere. That tells me that the soil content doesn't make that big of a difference.
What does make a big difference is light and water. Live oak down in the canyon by the creek are 60'-70' tall and 18-20" at the butt end. Same trees up on top of the mountain are short scruby and broad, lucky to reach 10-15'. Approximately same age, 50-75 years and same rocky clay soils.
So the question is what is best for our situation? That being that we have containerized our trees and can therefore amend the soils to suit our own particular mode of operation. I have an infinite supply of pumice, unlimited water and lots of time to spray it around. I also have tons of decomposed cedar and I sometimes mix up a batch of pumice with about a third of the cedar for growing young plugs or sprouted acorns. But, yeah, most everything is in pumice.
 
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