Oak trees are among the toughest, most beautiful, and longest lived trees in both our urban forests and native woodlands. Most people do not realize that oaks can also grow quite rapidly into nice sized shade trees. The misconception is that oaks are slow growing. We are consistently able to get oak trees to grow 2 to 5 feet per year by following these simple steps.
Tips for Fast Growing Oaks
- Purchase oak trees that have been produced to have a dense, properly structured root system that has lots of fine roots, and will transplant easily and establish rapidly. Knecht’s trees have this type of root system.
- Use proper planting techniques. We provide you with a clear and simple planting guide.
- Choose fertile, properly drained soils that are not severely compacted. Break up any compacted soils in the planting area.
- Fertilize moderately with slow release fertilizer at planting time and over the next 5-10 years. We carry synthetic and organic options.
- Choose an oak variety that is a good match for the type of soil you have. We can help you with this choice.
- Water just enough and never too much. We provide a watering chart to help prevent over-watering or under-watering.
- Keep a 6 foot circular area around the tree mulched and free of all weeds and grass for the life of the tree. A large area that is free of grass and weeds reduces competition for moisture and nutrients and speeds the growth of the tree. This also makes mowing easier and eliminates the risk of bark damage from weed whips and collisions from mower decks.
- Aggressively prune out weak branches and gradually remove low level branches so that the tree has good sound structure and a high canopy that will allow grass in the yard to grow dense and beautiful.
Excellent choices for fast growing oak trees are: Ancestry Oak, Heritage Oak, Swamp White Oak, Northern Red Oak, Regal Splendor Oak and Crimson Spire Oak.
The original version of this post was published on the Knecht’s blog in 2016.