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Location: Algonquin, IL
Our soil is very alkaline, pH 7.8-7.9, silty, well-drained, and the chinkapin oaks I started from acorns about 10 years ago are growing great! They have nice foliage (dark, shiny green), grow faster than any other oak I've seen (about 18 inches to 2 feet per year so far, with the one on the tree bank growing faster than the one in the back yard. We are on a dead-end street, so don't take that as an endorsement for salt tolerance. The squirrels usually eat the (not abundant) acorns before they reach the ground. I transplanted them as first year seedlings in the fall, although I later read that spring transplanting is preferred. Few places sell them, so you may have to act like a squirrel - and try to beat them to the acorns!