Water Oak – Proximal Planting

Q: We will be planting 4 or 5 water oak trees in a straight line in an old pasture. How far apart should we plant them so they grow to their full potential?

A: The rule of thumb for spacing trees is to plant them at least as far apart as their normal branch spread. A single water oak, Quercus nigra, will eventually have a branch spread 50 to 70 feet wide. I’d go with the lower number and plant your trees 50 feet apart. Don’t forget to mulch widely underneath the branches. Mulched trees have twice the growth rate compared to those unmulched.

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