July 30, 2008

Oak Tree Folklore

I've recently been doing research on oak trees and how it appears to be popular amongst Asian cultures but there are over 150 species of oak trees(Only 14 native varieties to the VA area where I live). Only problem being...I haven't found any Asian influenced folklore really involving the tree aside from some story relating to a badger or the fallen acorns in My Neighbor Totoro the movie where it shows a giant camphor tree (which caught my attention) but camphor's don't produce acorns (just round black seeds). The folklore I did find that contained a good bit of information can be found here.
Tips for Acorn Planting Success
Step 1. The acorn can't be cracked or damaged and has to be in tack with its shell.
Step 2. Remove the outer shell(the tops although some may have a thick outer shelling), acorns must not be green but brown colored.
Step 3. Take a bucket of water and place your acorns inside. The acorns that float are not good ones to plant because air has gotten inside the acorn. The acorns that sink are the ones you should plant in order to grow a successful oak tree.
Step 4. Push the acorn halfway into the proper soil keeping the acorn half exposed(just as "Mother Nature" would naturally).
Step 5. Water the acorns. Keep them wet but not to the point of being soaked and keep them where they'll get a little warmth so that the seeds can germinate(may take several weeks).

So if anyone can help fill me in on Asian cultures vs. Oak Trees it'd be appreciated. The best time to collect acorns is September-October(I can't wait!).

P.S. My favorite oak/acorn quote found: "Every majestic oak started from a nut that stood its ground".

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