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My daughter received a small oak sapling in a nursery pot as a preschool graduation gift. She is extremely excited and wants to take care of it, but neither my wife and I are gardeners. The sapling is about 6 inches tall and has several leaves. How would you best recommend we care for it? Transplant into a larger pot or plant in the yard? Thank you in advance!

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  • One of the best questions I've read on here! If you do plant it in the ground, do you have a good location for it?
    – MackM
    Commented May 16 at 21:02
  • It would also be helpful to know the specific type of Oak, if you know. White Oak, Red Oak, Swamp Oak, etc.
    – MackM
    Commented May 16 at 21:09

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I was in the same position 15 years ago, receiving an oak started from an acorn by a friend's mom. The years go by. The oak is 25 feet tall. The old lady just celebrated her 100th birthday.

I planted a black pine when my daughter was born 30 years ago. She is 5'11", the tree is 50'. Letting your child watch a tree grow is truly a gift.

The ideal time to plant trees is when they are dormant and the climate is cool and moist. But it is a bit late in the year for that.

The big risk is having it dry out and die this summer. What is going to keep the rootball moist? Are you going to leave it in a tiny pot and give it a dribble every single day through the summer? I think it would be happier being planted in a location where the soil is always moist without diligent watering. You should have some formal way of keeping it watered, like a tree watering bag or timed drip irrigation

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