HomeForestThe jay is an expert at planting oak

The jay is an expert at planting oak

Date: 29.01.2018 Author: Sara Landqvist Category: Forest
Photo: Pär Fornling


Did you know that the jay can be used for planting oak trees? And that one of the greatest threats against the young plants is elk and roe deer? These are a few of the insights after a workshop arranged with funding from the NordGen and SNS forest scholarship.



Until the 15th of February, you who work or study within forests, can apply for a scholarship from NordGen in co-operation with SNS Nordic Forest Research. The money can be used for travel expenses, a study visit, purchase of equipment used in education purpose or perhaps to arrange a workshop. One of our former scholarships, postdoc Lars Drössler at SLU, did just that – arranged a workshop for forest scientists and practitioners.

European participants

The participants came in May last year, from both the rest of Sweden and other European countries, to Scania with the purpose to exchange knowledge and experiences around how oak trees can thrive in conifer-dominated forest. After two days of different study visits and interesting discussions, it became evident that the participants had much to learn from one another. Several conclusions could be drawn after the workshop, among others that mammals and birds are excellent helpers when it comes to

spreading oak trees. The jay, for example, gathers oak acorns and burrows it at a depth giving the acorn perfect prerequisites for growing into a plant. This treat is something the Germans have taken advantage of with good results. In Brandenburg, wooden boxes are filled with oak acorns in the fall. The jay gathers acorns from the box and spreads them in a diameter of 100 – 200 meters from the box. Trials show that some 7 000 plants per hectare can be planted with the help of these boxes, and with the assistance of the jays of course.

Concrete conclusions

Other exciting conclusions from the workshop was that the quality of the oak acorns can be determined by putting them into water (the good ones sink), that good acorn years happens about every fifth year and that it is suitable to plant oak trees with a distance of about one meter in conifer forests. Over all, the workshop found that maintaining mixed stands including oak can both be beneficial to the owner and enhance other ecosystem services such as biodiversity, recreation and aesthetic reasons.

Apply for our forest scholarship!

Are you also interested in knowledge exchange within the forest industry? Apply for our forest scholarship!

Read more and apply here.

This article is based on the scholarship report  and the article ”Nya perspektiv på ekskogsskötsel” published in Swedish in the news letter Ekbladet (nr 32).