Storing Seed and Germination
The Ozark Chinquapin has unique requirements for optimum growth. Unlike many trees the Ozark Chinquapin nut puts down a taproot in the fall of the year similar to what a white oak acorn does in the fall. Because of this seed collected in the fall of the year and planted the following spring often will not germinate. You can simulate conditions in the outdoors by placing the seed in a seal-able plastic bag and add moistened peat moss (damp not wet) and place it in your refrigerators crisper.
The seed will eventually sprout a root in 2-4 months depending upon temperature (ideal temperature is between 34-42 degrees F). This method assures good seedling development. An anti-fungal agent has been added to the peat moss your seed were shipped in. However, it is still important to blow air into the bag 1-2 times a week to prevent mold.
Select a planting location that is full sun and has well drained soil. Rocky dry poor soil that has a slope is an ideal location. However, the trees can grow in a variety of locations as long as there is good drainage for the root system and sun. The roots cannot tolerate any standing water. A good test is to pour a quart container onto the intended location to see how quickly the water will disappear. If the water disappears into the ground in less than a minute the site is suitable. Avoid locations near standing water or where water stands after a heavy rain.
When to plant: Plant the germinated nut directly in the ground (not in pots) the following spring as soon as the threat of frost has passed. Plant about half an inch deep directly into the ground. We do not recommend planting into pots. Your seed have been carefully selected and by Jan.-March a tap root will begin to emerge to a length of at least 1-4 inches. It is critical to the survival of your tree when planting your seedlings to make sure the taproot is not in any way damaged. If it is damaged the tree will produce a shallow root system and will die when dry late summer conditions occur.
Squirrels, mice, chipmunks, and a host of other animals will attempt to pull the still attached nut from the plant if they can get to it. This will eventually cause the plant to die. For this reason a 4FT tall grow tube is highly recommended. You need the 4Ft Tubex tree shelte. You can order Forestry Suppliers here: https://goo.gl/T1bJuP The grow tube will accelerate tree growth, serve as a scent barrier to rodents and protect it from browsing deer as well. Without protection loss of newly planted seed is high. Some insect like chinquapin leaves as well and it is a good idea to spray the leaves of your young tree with a fruit tree insecticide, especially the first year. Use the grow tube immediately after planting.
Under good conditions your tree will start to produce nuts in 3-5 years. Ozark chinquapins are not self-pollinating and will need another tree.