Regal Prince Oak Acorns Collected - September 2023

I recently posted an update on the grown-from-seed tree seedlings that I've been nurturing for the past few years and included the oak trees that are from acorns that I collected last Fall.  Last year, I collected a variety of tree species - various oaks, chestnuts and even an Illinois Pecan and stashed them in the fridge to cold stratify.    That lead me to what I'd describe as 'mixed' results.  I have had quite a few seeds turn into seedlings, but because it was a mixed-bag, I am (somewhat) guessing on the variety of the tree and where I picked it from (a park?  Our block? Up in Wisconsin?) when I took the acorns.  

But, I've enjoyed that seedling-growing process.  So, this year, I'm simplifying things.  I'm only going to keep ONE variety of acorns over winter.  What tree is that, you might be asking? 

The answer is:  I'm not sure.  

But, I do, indeed, know that it is a columnar oak tree that is planted along Maple Avenue near downtown Downers Grove.  There are about six of them planted between the sidewalk and a new(er) apartment building that I walk by each morning on my morning walk.  Here's a look at one of the trees:


Each morning that I walk by, I grab a few acorns off the tree.  See below for a look at them:


So far, I've collected dozens of these acorns that I've pulled directly from the tree.  See below for the acorns (all with their caps) that I'll run through the 'float test' to see if they're viable.  


Back to the question of the variety.  I'm pretty sure that these are Regal Prince Columnar Oak trees and acorns.  This listing from itrees shows a similar leaf and this nursery listing shows acorns that appear to be a match for mine.   They talk about the leaves being "slightly uprights, showing off their sage green velvety underside" - which checks out.

My plan is to continue to collect even more of these acorns over the coming days/weeks to ensure that I collect them at the 'right time'.  

This plan - using a singular variety - might be a better path forward for seed collecting for me.  It makes things easier (tracking, determining what-is-what) for me and I'm hoping I'll get a number of seedlings come next Spring. 

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