mini gardeners

inspiring gardening projects for children

Acorn “Sink or Swim” Test


acorn sink or swim test

Here’s a handy trick for determining whether acorns are likely to germinate and grow into mighty oak trees:

Throw a handful of acorns into a jar of water, discard the floaters and plant the ones that sink.

In our little experiment just 2 acorns out of 12 sank to the bottom.  In the interests of conducting a proper, controlled scientific experiment we’ll be planting 2 of the floaters as well just to check 🙂

And now for the science:  Acorns are prone to drying out which reduces their ability to grow into seedlings.  Dried acorns have more air inside them and hence are more likely to float.  It’s not a completely foolproof test but worth trying if you were a bit too enthusiastic with the acorn collecting.

2 thoughts on “Acorn “Sink or Swim” Test

  1. Thoreau wrote about doing this!

  2. Pingback: Patience is a virtue | mini gardeners

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