Why plant Audubon® Native Nuttall Oak Treeling?
Nuttall’s Oak is a landscaper’s dream and a bird’s dream come true! This tall, tough, fast-growing shade tree is a marvelous addition to any yard, garden, suburban street, or even downtown parking lot. Its neat, pyramidal form, glossy green leaves, and deep orange-red fall color make it a premium landscape plant all year long. Far from being just a pretty picture Nuttall’s Oak is a boon for birds! Songbirds such as Chickadees, Cardinals, Indigo Buntings, and Bluebirds are some of the many species nourished by the insects found in its canopy.
Nuttall’s Oak is closely related to Pin Oak, which is probably the most often-planted Oak in the U.S. Both are fast-growing, undemanding trees with excellent fall color and a pyramidal shape. There are a couple of distinctions, however. Nuttall’s Oak has larger acorns; these squirrel, jay, duck, and turkey treats are produced abundantly every year once the tree is mature. Nuttall’s Oak also has a much more southernly native range than Pin Oak. It does not stray far from the lower Mississippi River Valley and the adjacent states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
How to use Audubon® Native Nuttall Oak Treeling in the landscape?
The stiff, sturdy, dense branching pattern of Nuttall’s Oak makes fine nesting habitat for birds. Hummingbirds, kingbirds, blue jays, robins, and gnatcatchers feel secure in its branches and may make their home there.
Hardiness Zone: 6-9
How To Plant Audubon® Native Nuttall Oak Treeling
Plant your Nuttall’s Oak in an area where it will have lots of elbow room and will receive full sun all day. It is not fussy about soil; clay soil is super. Although Nuttall’s Oak is native to wet—even flooded—spaces, it does not need to be grown in a swamp. Well-drained soils of average moisture levels are fine. You will want to be sure to irrigate regularly during the first couple of years of establishment, however. Little pruning will be necessary, but if you must prune, do so only between December and February. The fungal disease Oak Wilt can strike when Oaks are pruned during active growth.
How To Water
Water twice weekly for the first 3-5 weeks; then water weekly for the remainder of the year until winter. When you water, water slowly and thoroughly. Watering needs may be altered due to extreme weather conditions.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant Food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant Food granular form on an annual basis each fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established as it gives your tree the nutrients it needs to produce lush new growth for the following spring.
How To Prune
A young tree may need a little extra support to ensure that it lives a long and healthy life. Stake your new Treeling with a 6-8 foot tall wood or bamboo stake. Use expandable ties that will stretch as the tree grows, fastening the stake to the main trunk from the base to the top. Check the ties every few months, at least twice a year; ensuring the ties are not digging into the trunk. If there is any sign of this, take the tie off and reattach it, giving the tree more room to grow.
As your tree grows, remove a few of the lower branches each year in mid to late summer. Remove these lower branches before they reach 1/2 inch in diameter. It is better to make small cuts to avoid cutting a large, more mature branch - this is too stressful for the tree. Each year, make any corrective pruning needed, paying particular attention to removing damaged branches, rubbing branches, multiple leaders at the top, or suckers at the base. Limit any pruning to no more than 25% of the branching structure in a given year. Pruning benefits the tree and helps to achieve a balanced tree form.
After two or three years you can feel free to remove the stake from the tree.