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I've got one of these growing by my house, and it's full of acorns. Some have fallen, but most are on the tree and are green (starting to turn brown at the end.)

I want to grow a bunch of them for a permaculture project.

Should I pick them from the tree as they turn brown and separate from the branch easily?

Do I need to germinate them in the cold?

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I don't have experience with this specific oak, but do have experience with the European oak (Quercus robur) in Europe. What I did is collecting the acorns in Autumn, collecting from the ground (not taken from the tree). I put these acorn directly in fresh potting soil, in a container which I left outdoors (so it will experience the winter temperatures just like in real life). In spring the acorns will germinate.

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  • Agree - fallen = ripe and leaving them outside is the easiest way to give them the conditions they are used to. OP may want to protect the pots from hungry animals. – Stephie Oct 8 '18 at 10:55
  • +1, but don't forget how inefficient reproduction can be, for trees. If an oak lives "in the wild" for say 250 years (a modest estimate - some have survived for 500 or more), and it only needs produce one tree to replace it, that is a "success rate" of one tree from several million acorns! – alephzero Oct 8 '18 at 12:11

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