How Close to Plant Oak Trees

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Oak trees will grow no matter how far apart they are planted.
Oak trees will grow no matter how far apart they are planted. (Image: oak tree image by Zlatko Ivancok from Fotolia.com)

Oak trees are hardwoods with the potential to grow and thrive for centuries. They are forest trees, and when left to their own devices, will literally grow and be healthy at any distance apart. When oak trees are purposefully planted to either conform to the landscape, or grow to ideal proportions, there are planting distances that should be observed for each of these requirements.

Clear a site for oak trees a minimum of 25 feet from building foundations. Although the root structure can be planted as little as 5 feet from a building foundation, if the foundation is not structurally intact, the roots will cause major damage,while the overhead canopy will intrude against the building and become a nuisance. At 25 feet, both the root structure and the canopy have room to grow without interference.

Sow oak trees to mimic a natural forest arrangement of oak stands. Seed acorns and seedlings approximately 6 feet to 10 feet apart.

Place oak trees 20 to 25 feet apart for optimum-growth forest stands. This distance gives plenty or room for the seedlings to grow and share nutrients.

Grow oaks in open fields by planting them at 5 to 8 feet apart in rows, but space them between rows at 10 to 12 feet apart. The crowns from these closer planted oaks will naturally keep weeds at bay by limiting sunlight, yet the distance between the oaks will still allow the highest-quality trees possible.

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