I have an oak tree - grown from seed by a friend - which is now some 7 years old around 5' tall is extremely healthy and growing well in a 42cm dia x 32cm h pot. i would like to keep this in a pot for the next several years as a permanent planting situation is not currently available. i am thinking up to a metre dia pot. i would appreciate any comments and advise regarding this. Thankyou Wendy

  • It is hard to picture how it looks like with just the numbers and dimensions, a photo might help. But I have an oak as well in a container for 7-8 years. To keep it healthy you might want to refresh soil every 2 years and prune some of the roots and branches in proportion.
    – benn
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 12:06
  • For uploading click edit below your question and then click the image icon if you enter by browser. I don't know about the app, though.
    – Alina
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 17:53
  • Welcome wendy Smith! That's an interesting question. Thanks for the helpful details. Pictures here can be tricky! If you're using a PC, follow Alina's instructions. If it's the Android app, choose the camera icon and it will guide you. Are you getting an error message, for instance, the size of the picture is too big? Let us know more so we can help you! We want to make you comfortable! Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 20:56
  • Please merge your guest and registered accounts, which will allow you to edit, comment on any of your posts and accept an answer on your question. Thanks, and welcome to the site!
    – Niall C.
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 17:49
  • Try adding a picture, I started some oaks last year and would like to see how the develop in pots. Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


Since there are no miniature oaks, I'm afraid your tree will not do well in a pot for 'several' years. It should be okay for another year or two, maybe three, as you pot it into larger containers, but there will come a point fairly soon where your oak will outgrow any container you manage to provide and become stunted. Oaks are large trees, even the smallest Japanese Oak reaches 20 to 30 feet with a spread of 20 feet in the ground, with a root system to match, and trying to 'keep it small' in a pot just means, after a time, it just won't grow properly.

  • I kindly disagree, Oak trees can be used for bonsai and trees of over a hundred years have been reported. The trick is to prune the branches and the roots so that it will stay in proportion and fit in a pot.
    – benn
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 7:40
  • @b.nota for sure they can be bonsaied - I nearly mentioned bonsai in the answer, but this person seems to want to grow a normal tree, not a bonsai... and its already 5 feet tall...
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 9:59
  • Yeah, OP can apply bonsai until transplantation into the real soil.
    – benn
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 10:00
  • @b.nota well since I loathe bonsai (not the way they look, the torture we put them through is my objection, just for our own entertainment, like overbreeding dogs) and don't know a huge amount about that particular specialism, why don't you add an answer suggesting that and explaining how to do it - its probably the only way they'll keep the tree going for 'several' years
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 10:01
  • Good idea, I was actually waiting for some photos. If the tree is too big, pruning and repotting would be maybe too much of a task...
    – benn
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 10:06

My late Uncle pushed an acorn into a terracotta plant pot 8 inches wide and 10 high 17 years ago. It is doing incredibly well. It's 13 inches high and stays outside all year round in Manchester U.K. Its pne of my most precious possessions.

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