Introduction: Plant a Forest Using Un-recyclable Tetrapack Cartons, Payback Some of the Oxygen You Have Used and Give Something to Future Generations.
Finalist in the
Discover Green Science Fair for a Better Planet
Use those un-recyclable tetrapack cartons to plant acorns.
The perfect Christmas gift.
If you start planting oaks now,........
(unless you're really old, infertile, imprisoned or suffer a horrible accident or debilitating disease),
.........you will be able to bring your children and grandchildren to sit under and enjoy these trees.
Step 1: Motivation.
My local Re-cycling facility does not re-cycle tetra-packs,(paper cartons).
I tried to think of a use for them.
To my suprise, I discovered that some of them have an Aluminium lining.
I turned one inside out and it was not unnatractive.
Thus my Christmas plan to give every one a baby oak tree in a recycled pot can now be realised.......
Collect some acorns and a tetrapack.
Step 2: Carton- Cut, Wash and Turn Inside-Out.
(This is tricky but only takes a couple of minutes.)
Punch some holes in the base.
Step 3: Collecting Acorns
Collecting good acorns is probably the best way to get a good start.
Get them while they are still on the tree.
If other acorns are starting to fall, then give the branch a little shake; if acorns are ready they will drop.
Leave any that have holes in them, it means that someone is inside munching away on the seed.
Plant your acorns in late April.
Step 4: Creating a Future Forest.
Apparently its best not to use garden soil since it may carry diseases.
Use a good quality potting soil mixed with some sand and grit mixed in.
Place the acorn horizontally, barely under the surface. Water until it comes out the bottom and place cups on a southern windowsill.
Check moisture often and don't let the soil get completely dry.
In about three weeks the stalk will be five to six inches and the first set of leaves will have spread. About mid-May it is time to harden the plants off. Gradually increase exposure time to outside sun and air. Set the trees outside during the day and return them to house or garage at night.
Step 5: Planting and Reaping the Rewards.
You can plant your young oaks in the Autumn or overwinter and plant them the following spring.
To overwinter, keep them in a garage, enclosed porch or cellar at temperatures between 5 to 45 degrees, with 20 to 30 degrees the best.
Don't let temperatures get below zero at the root.
Even in winter, check the moisture level and keep just barely damp.
Water your trees in dry weather and give them a light mulch to retain moisture and keep weeds down.
Remember that oaks will eventually be big trees, so don't plant them too close to buildings or pavements.
As you grow and mature and society falls apart and the sea level rises and oil and fresh water shortages cause yet more conflicts and wars and disease runs rampant as population growth continues unchecked, your trees will be growing and maturing too.
You can enjoy these trees throughout your life and know that future generations will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Some oaks can live as long as 500 years!
Step 6: OAK UPDATE August 2009
This is the first time that I've grown acorns and, to be honest , I had given up on this batch.
They did not do anything and seemed to go mouldy....
and then one day I was weeding and behind a clump of spinach, I found one growing.
A lovely, lovely oak... so if yours don't do anything, even after 8 months don't give up.. just keep them watered.
I've been reading some of the comments and I just want to make it clear that the invaginated tetrapacks were used for presentation purposes only, (they are a recycled item that looks nice with a plant in it.) any container will do, of course, and its best to take the shoot out of the container before planting outside.
Did anybody who read this successfully grow any oaks?
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.