Why plant Audubon® Native Water Oak Treeling?
How can we help native birds thrive? According to noted entomologist and popular nature writer, Doug Tallamy, the best thing we can do is to plant more keystone plants in our gardens. Keystone plants are those that support the greatest number of caterpillars and other insects, which in turn nourish birds. The number one keystone plant in his estimation is the oak tree in all of its wonderful native forms. Water Oak is one of these wildlife heroes—and a fast-growing one at that! It will help you create backyard bird habitat in a hurry.
How to use Audubon® Native Water Oak Treeling in the landscape?
The Audubon® Native Water Oak is a wonderful tree to add to your native gardens, near a water source such as a lake or pond, in a grove planting or simply in your backyard as a shade tree. Planting this fast-growing shade tree will not only benefit you, but also the native caterpillars, birds and other insects who rely on this tree to survive!>
Hardiness Zone: 6-9
How To Plant Audubon® Native Water Oak Treeling
When planting an Audubon® Native Water Oak, be sure to find a location with full sun to part shade exposure. While it is adapted to areas that are wet and swampy, this hardy tree can also tolerate soils that are well-draining, clay, or sandy! It doesn't seem to be too picky in regards to where it lays its roots!
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 late fall. If planting in the fall, use Elements fertilizer while planting and start your regular annual fertilizing the following 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.