Welcome Oak Friends

Hello!

I just want to say a quick personal thanks for getting involved in this years acorn project. 

Great news is!.. the crop has been very strong & each selected tree is healthy & fruited really well! 

It is so uplifting to see the woodland doing well in 2020, especially around these fragile ancient trees.

Now before we dig into the growing Guide, I just want to mention our ecological impact – I’ve looked at the worst possible case scenario (a total crop fail) & here’s how I mitigate it…

for every 25 acorns collected I will plant/re-plant an Oak sapling in the 2020/21 growing season

any acorns not fit for germination will be passed directly to the squirrels- none will be wasted 

from this project, I’ll make a personal donation to the RSPB for their continued conservation work

We only need one success from all our efforts
to make a REAL positive difference – Thank you !

Sciryuda • Sherwood Forest Acorns

So, how do you grow a mighty Oak from the comfort of your home? 
Well it’s already begun & your little acorn’s been busy!

Where has your acorn been?

So far, your acorn’s been individually selected & carefully de-cupped. It was then soak tested for 24 hours to
ensure it’s strong & healthy. (Only about 30% of acorns make it this far) So, go little acorn🌱 go!
👊🏼
Next, it was carefully cleaned in a friendly antibacterial mixture to eradicate fungal spores etc.

Last stop, after a busy few days.. acorn was gently laid to rest in a dark, cold, damp
blanket of woodland compost. He’s been cosy in there for between 6 – 8 weeks! 
Now! he’s sprouted his first root & he’s ready for a little sun!

Early in the morning of dispatch day, your acorn was given the once over, cleaned & given a fresh, clean,
moist blanket. He was quickly sealed in a sterile pouch,
 wrapped, boxed & shipped immediately!

..and now it’s up to you! 😎

The care of this little acorn from the canopy of your chosen ancient Oak, in the heart of Sherwood Forest,
now rests in your very capable hands – No pressure
😉 Don’t worry you’ll do just fine! 👍🏼

Here’s a simple guide to help you reach the goal of planting your baby Oak Tree outdoors.
I wish you the very best of luck with your acorn(s) & if you have any questions
you can email me anytime! JUST CLICK HERE or hit CONTACT above.

ACORN GROWING GUIDE

PLEASE NOTE I supply two options : ‘acorn onlybox for soil or : ‘acorn with vasebox for water.
ALL acorns are identical in both kits & can be grown in water or planted in soil.

Step ONE

PREPARE THE ACORNS NEW HOME..

.. IN SOIL

Your plant pot should not be smaller than 10″ across & 10″ deep.
It’s worthwhile placing just a few small pebbles in the bottom of the pot to aid drainage.

Fill to 1″ below the top with very lightly compressed all-purpose potting compost.
Use a good quality, peat free, general-purpose potting compost – nothing special or enriched.

If you know where a successful sapling will be planted you can use sieved soil from that location instead.

.. IN water

If using your own vase/glass please sterilise it first & cool fully. 
If using the vase I supply, it has been pre-sterilised for you & is ready to fill.
 
For the first fill of your vase, cold water straight from the tap is fine.
Fill a separate clean container with a few litres & let it sit for an hour. (We’ll need the extra water shortly..)
 
When ready, roughly fill your vase to cover the root but NOT touch the acorn.
Less is more & we’ll top up later when your acorn takes a seat 👍🏼

Step TWO

UNEARTH YOUR acorn from the packaging

Your acorn root is very delicate & must be handled with extreme care.
It is sensitive to temperature & thrives in a cool moist environment.

Gently empty out the contents of your acorn pouch onto a piece of kitchen roll or cloth.
Carefully move the soil away from the acorn with a cotton bud/cocktail stick/matchstick etc.
Think ‘Time Team’ and unearth the acorn without touching it (best you can, within reason).

If you snap the tap root, don’t worry, turn to your spare acorn (included in the box).
A snapped root is game over (but don’t waste the acorn, treat the birds!)
If you snap both & I have viable spares, I’ll arrange to send another just get in touch 💚

Right, let’s set the acorn aside a moment while we move to STEP THREE

Step THREE

PLANTING / SETTING

.. IN SOIL

The aim is to gently plant your acorn with the tap root leading vertically down into your pot.

We need to plant the acorn at a sensible depth. The formula is to plant 1½ x the seeds circumference deep. So for our English Oak acorns a depth of between 1″ & 1½” is ideal.

OK let’s make our hole! It needs to be the planting depth + the acorn and it’s entire tap root deep.
Make a hole to that depth not larger than the size of the acorn itself (I wiggle in an old chopstick) 😏

Hold the acorn in two fingers & carefully lower into the hole. When the acorn reaches depth, hold it in place with one hand while very gently compressing the compost around it, just enough to hold the acorn.

Well done! You just gave this little fella every chance to grow into a giant mighty Oak!

.. IN water

The aim is to gently sit your acorn with the tap root 90-95% submerged in the vase.
The only rule (to avoid rot), is not to sit the acorn touching the water. It needs a few mm breathing space!
 
OK let’s rinse the soil from the root now. Take the extra water we have from filling our vase. Very carefully submerge the root. A very slow dunking/wiggling motion, no vigorous movement or the root may snap!
 
When you have most of the soil removed begin to carefully feed the clean root into your vase. Be sure not to trap any root between the vase neck & your acorn. Tease the root in but don’t bend or twist it, if possible.
 
When your acorn sits in the vase adjust the water level. I find an little eye dropper or a finger over a drinking straw helps, as they both allow fine adjustment of adding or removing water from your vase.
 
Awesome! Now you can sit back & watch the amazing network of Oak roots develop.

Step FOUR

General Routine Care

Don’t try to feed your acorn. Feeding to spur on growth will likely weaken any sapling.

Tap water is fine for soil or vase but stand water overnight to bring to the ambient temperature.

A simple concept to hold onto is cool water / warm sun

The acorn needs sunlight! A perfect spot is cool & draught free where it will see a.m. sun till noon.

.. in soil

The moisture level of the soil is critical! If you took a handful from the pot and squeezed it tight, the correct moisture level would produce 1 maybe 2 drops of water.

The ideal conditions for your acorn are cool and moist but never damp or wet. Too much water & the acorn will rot, insufficient water & the acorn will fail.

Watering once a week if the pot is kept in relatively cool environment is sufficient. If things are warmer or you notice the soil begin to leave the side of the pot, then adjust your watering frequency.

.. in water

Root coverage is critical for growing on in water. Always try to aim for 95% root coverage & adjust the water level as often as is required to maintain this.

Try to avoid going from tap to vase & where possible let the water sit for at least 30 mins. before use.

Because standing water in sunlight attracts algae growth it is necessary to clean your vase regularly.

There is no single best way to do this, but careful removal of acorn and root is perhaps the easiest.

If you do remove the acorn & root it will help to re-sterilise the vase before returning the acorn.