The large brown acorn in the center is a valley oak surrounded by blue colored blue  oak acorns.
click acorns to enlarge
The long brown acorn in the center is from a black oak.  The stripped acorns are from live oaks.
click acorns to enlarge
valley blue and live oak acorns black blue and live oak acorns

planting oaks photos

Dark acorns can be picked from the tree and planted right away.  Groundfall acorns can be perfect or good for throwing or launching with a slingshot.  If they are dark and come off at a touch without being wet they can be picked.  Roadside oaks are often a good source of acorns as the squirrel population is often limited and road acorns indicate a source.  Locally obtained acorns may be locally adapted.

Plant acorns one or two inches deep and on their side.  Both the root and the sprout grow from the pointed end.  The root will grow out first and it is important not to break off the growing tip if the acorn has already begun to geminate.  North slopes are less demanding than south western slopes, and any shade helps.  Sloped surfaces that feed water to the growing site are good, but always plant at least ten feet above standing water. 

Locally found native species are all that should be planted in public lands.  It is generally best to simply move acorns down the trail from the source tree.  It is critically important to know what trees with sudden oak death look like and never touch, walk in,  or handle contaminated materials.  Young oaks do not seem to be getting the disease.

Valley oaks, black, and blue oaks can do well in urban areas but will need considerable room and need to be away from underground plumbing where they can do considerable damage.  Live oaks are not suitable in backyards because they grow large and are dark all year around.  Deciduous oaks drop leaves in the winter allowing light and warmth when it is most desired.  Red oaks are very nice yard trees and look good along roadways and staging areas, but do not belong in native forests.  Chinese pistachios, sweet gums and myrtle are more colorful alternatives backyard trees. 

valley oak acorns
These like to be in valleys but will grow if some water is within 60 feet below.
Easily renews when planted.  Can grow 4 feet/year.

blue oak acorns
Blue oaks are smaller but can live on dry hilltops.  Only renews with help.

These are the most hardy and drought resistant of the oaks.  Because they keep leaves all year the wet
winters are a time where they do well.  These are not good  backyard trees but are the type that grow on Brushy Peak.

The oak leaf with a question mark came up in my yard.  Maybe it was from the foothills.
   examples of planted oaks
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