Plant a Forest Using Un-recyclable Tetrapack Cartons, Payback Some of the Oxygen You Have Used and Give Something to Future Generations.

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Introduction: Plant a Forest Using Un-recyclable Tetrapack Cartons, Payback Some of the Oxygen You Have Used and Give Something to Future Generations.

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.

Cut.

Wash.

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!

Goodluck Humanity.

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?


Best Wishes


FriendOfHumanity

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    40 Comments

    For anyone who wanted suggestions on different containers... I used 2 liter soft drink bottles.  I cut the top off of the container about 3 inches below the cap.  Then I filled the container with potting soil, with several drainage holes at the bottom.
    I started my tree project in the fall.  Before I launched on my endeavor, I collected about 50 acorns from under a large oak tree.  I placed them in a bucket and put about a quarter inch of water in the bottom of the bucket.  Within 2 weeks, many (but not all) of the acorns sprouted a "tap root" about 2 inches long.  This root is what lays the foundation for the oak tree.  I took the acorns that had sprouted a tap root and placed each one in their own separate bottle.  I kept all of the bottles in my shed during the winter and watered them weekly to prevent the soil from drying out.  When transplanting in the spring, take care to not damage the tap root.

     What a beautiful little tree! I am trying to grow acorns with my pre-school class. We planted some that had already started to sprout, so fingers crossed!

    Wow...this was inspirational. Too bad I dont ever use Tetra packs. Do you think you could make an instructabl on how to grow trees in other containers?

    you can grow it in any type of container/area if it's big enough ideas: shoes,cans,garden;(),neighbours' garden,...,half winebottle;

    The whole turning inside uoy thing seems like it is for aesthetic reasons. If you are using this technique to start a tree nursery, do you still need to turn the carton inside out? Thanks for the i'ble. We go through A LOT of tetra pack cartons!!!

    Dear Friend of Humanity, I don't understand why you say Tetra Pak cartons are "un-recyclable", as they are ?

    He says in step number 1 that he can't recycle them at his local recycling plant. So for him (and many others who's centers do not recycle them) they might as well be un-recyclable.

    great work. and great idea. I will try this. too bad not to many people do this. good luck.

    Im having a lot of trouble turning these inside-out. Any tips? Please? Anyone?