Planting new oak trees!

We’ve decided to plant an oak grove in the front yard.  The idea is to plant them close together so they will grow straight up before spreading out to a small canopy, closely grown together. When you walk under it 30 years from now, it will be dark and shady and cool.  As time passes, I hope to shade out the lawn underneath and replace it with a “forest floor garden.”

But that’s a long way off:

New oak trees

They are about 2″ in diameter right now, and perhaps 8-10′ tall.  We got one each of red, swamp white, and chinkapin oaks.  All have been found around here (SE Michigan) historically, and the swamp white and chinkapin are fairly rare in this area these days.

We are tickled pink about these oaks.  We bought them from a friend with a tree farm who is just starting to sell.  He loves his trees so much, he was joking that he wanted pictures of his saplings in his wallet to pull out when other people start showing pictures of their grandchildren.  We assured him he had lifelong visiting rights to these trees so he can watch them grow.  I know how he feels; I’m already thinking of them as part of the family!

There are layers and layers of awesomeness to these oaks, between Celtic symbolism and the somewhat serendipitous way they are arranged in the yard.  If you’re interested in the details, come by some time and meet them. I’ll talk your ear off. 🙂



  1. sqwook said,

    July 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    This will be / is totally awesome!

    Tangent of symbolic interest: Several of the oaks that grow here have holly-esque leaves (shrub live oak, Quercus. turbinella, et al).

  2. Starr said,

    July 4, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    This is great! I know you will enjoy this for years and years!

  3. Anonymous said,

    July 5, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Just missed meeting the “kids”!

  4. Eleanor said,

    July 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Nice. Oaks are so lovely. You will enjoy your trees for many years.

  5. Deb W said,

    July 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Ah, nice to know that you “hear” the forest’s song. Enjoy, enjoy.

  6. Janet said,

    August 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    How did you determine how closely they could be planted to allow optimum development for each tree?

    • Emily said,

      August 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

      It depends on what you want in an oak tree. A lone oak can spread 50′ wide, so if you want a big, round tree with spreading branches, don’t put anything 30′ on either side of it. These are planted very, very close together (12-15′) because we want them to be tall with a dense canopy. We may need to take one of them down at some point (or the people after us might) but we want a “grove” feeling. We decided the spacing by walking around town and when we found a group of trees that looked and felt right, we measured how far apart they were planted!

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