MadMax619

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During fall-winter 2016 I collected roughly 100-150 live oak acorns from a friends property located a short drive from the sierra national forest. I have been unable to determine the exact species of oak but so far the closest match is the Coast Live oak. Leaves have sharp pointed tips and the accorns were long and skinny.

So far I have at least 20 successful saplings in 3 size pots- 3" squares for germinating, 3/4 gallon, and one in a 4 gallon pot. It seems that the younger, newly germinated trees are growing faster and more healthy than the latter. The larger and older trees are beginning to brown at the tips as well as lose leaves, etc. My end goal is to plant a few in the ground to grow large and for s long time. As well as keep s few successful bonsai.

I recently re-potted to loosen/aerate the soil and improve root growth. Some of the first soil packs were way too hard and moisture retentive(never allowing them to dry out fully). Some of the roots had grown heavily into the bottom of their pots whereas the roots with more dense soil remained small and no horizontal chutes established.

If anyone can tell me possibly why I have leaf browning in the older saplings I would really appreciate it.
The soil is a mixture of organic gardening soil and cactus and palm soil for a slight, sandy water draining effect.

I will add pictures for more detail and explanation. They are receiving lots of sun and water- as well as some aero-salinity due to the fact I am 200 yards from the ocean.
 

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sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

hemmy

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Start here:

http://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/horticulture-care/leaf-scorch

It is probably a symptom of poor rootage from poor drainage, compact soil that gets way too hot in those black pots in full sun surrounded by concrete. Then the leaves are unable to replace transpirational water losses from the hot windy conditions. Also, post your location and download your municipal water report to check water quality.
 

hemmy

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Oh and don't get discouraged! Growing from seed is a great learning project! Cool stuff!
 

MadMax619

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Oh and don't get discouraged! Growing from seed is a great learning project! Cool stuff!
Thank you very much for the info. It makes sense. I'm going to brainstorm some solutions. I'm worried about the increasing summer heat and sun. Any affordable suggestions are much appreciated. Shade? Container/pot itself? More water+ better drainage?
 

Microscopic

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If these where my seedlings.

Most affordable: Get a bag of perlite (sift out the dust with a sieve). Mix that with the potting soil at least 50/50. I would do more like 60 perlite 40 potting soil.

I've read oaks love sun but these aren't has healthy atm. I would place them in indirect sun (next to N. facing wall) until they perk up.

This is my very first seedling ever. An English Oak. It's in 100% pumice fines. Well smaller than 3/8th I think lol. I keep mines in full sun though cause we only see like 3 days above 80 so far. On those hotter days I water twice at least.
Barks are there so soil wont slosh about when watering.
OakSeedling.jpg
 

hemmy

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Thank you very much for the info. It makes sense. I'm going to brainstorm some solutions. I'm worried about the increasing summer heat and sun. Any affordable suggestions are much appreciated. Shade? Container/pot itself? More water+ better drainage?
First, it sounds like are you coastal CA, Southern or Northern? Being on the coast should prevent those scorching inland summer days!

Your mix is probably not much different from what surrounding nurseries use, along with the gallon cans. But most of them grow on the ground with good airflow. If you have limited space and I'm assuming all concrete outdoor spaces, do you have an east side that gets morning sun and indirect after that?

Oaks like full sun, but no plant likes 90-100F root temps. Put a thermometer in the soil and see what it reaches during the hottest part of the day. If the soils is getting too hot then you'll need some shade cloth or maybe even a few bags of mulch to cover the pots. Water it occasionally and you'll get heat loss from evaporation.
 

MadMax619

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This is my updated post regarding my oaks.
solutions to impending issue:
1: moved location to partly shaded in PM hours.
2: placed eco-grass(fake grass rug) under neath to help temperature
3: added perlite almost 50/50 ratio( will add more soon)
results= new growth are NOT browning like before, better drainage. Leaves are soft and plyable as opposed to hard and browning tips. They are on the up and up! San Diego, CA is my location- water quality may be an issue. LAST QUESTION: WHY ARE THE YOUNGEST OAKS THE HEALTHIEST? no perlite, 3" container, and growing much faster than the rest. Are the older oaks stressed? Why are the youngest sprouts slowly outgrowing the rest?
 

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Bonsai Nut

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The youngest oaks look the healthiest (right now) because they missed the last round of Santa Ana's :) Joking aside, if you repotted, or even changed out the soil in the larger pots, it will disturb the trees and cause them to pause in their growth (at best). If the little trees have been growing untouched in the 3" containers, that is one possible reason for the smaller trees to seem to be stronger.

Young foliage on containerized live oaks can burn here (in Southern Cal). Don't ask me why it burns on our bonsai, but it doesn't burn on landscape trees located in the same neighborhood. Once the leaves harden and callus, they will no longer burn.
 

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