Right behind the house is a large Chestnut Oak (some call them Rock Oak). These nuts fell here about a month to six weeks ago and they are already starting to root. I was gathering a few for the pigs and had to pull them out of the ground. Always thought they had to be buried to sprout. Learn something new every day, I guess.
Apparently they lay on the ground and as the shoot comes out gravity must help it find the ground and they really go to work quick. That is a six inch ruler there next to the nuts. And I actually broke part of the root off while pulling it out.
That's interesting. Odd that they would start to sprout this late in the year, instead of in the spring. I have a couple of seng beds that are close to some Red oaks, and in the spring I pick up quite a few acorns out of my beds that have an inch or two of root down in the soil. I wonder if they started to sprout in the fall. I think Ginseng seeds can also lay on top of the dirt below the leaves and sprout, and it's little root finds it's way into the soil. Provided, they don't dry out.
Just a FYI - there is a American Chestnut tree (see sample of leaves/nuts below)
We have a few of those around here in Middle TN. I found a real nice one growing on a bluff I was hunting seng on last fall and brought home a pocket full of nuts. They are sweet looking (almost polished looking) and are not bad to eat either.
But the sprouting acorns that were shown in this post are not from the American Chestnut tree - they are from a Chestnut Oak Tree - also called Rock Oak, Mountain Oak (that is what the old timers around here call them) and some call them water oak.
The official name is Chestnut Oak though.
I own around 230 acres of timberland here in Middle TN and the Chestnut oak is the dominanate species # wise in the population of Oaks. We do have lots of White Oak, Red Oak and a few other misc type Oaks (Post, Black, etc) but of all of the oak trees on my property about 1/3 or possibly a little more are Chestnut oaks.
They are a decent timber tree and usually grade out as white oaks but in the #2 quality.
They have huge acorns, nearly 2x larger than white or red oak acorns.
When a whitetail deer crunches down on one you can hear it pop for about 100 yards.