Max depth to plant nuts underground so squirrels don't dig them up?

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I planted walnuts 4-5" underground in my backyard last year and the squirrels found them. I'd like to plant fresh hazelnuts and walnuts out in the wild while out on my walks however don't want any animals getting to them so they have a chance to germinate.

Any advice is appreciated.
 
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I don't think there is a max depth that would still allow seedling emergence—squirrels like to eat seedlings too. The only way I know of to keep squirrels from digging up nuts is to plant them in a container and then cover them with chicken wire.
 
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Grow them in a container and plant them out when they are established, or shoot the squirrels:)

Think how many seeds a tree produces in its lifetime, it only needs one to survive to maintain the population. I think you have to accept that putting out nuts on your walks is unlikely to result in a tree, grow it in a peat pot and make a little hole for it and you will massively improve the chance, you will still lose a lot though, everything from slugs to deer will regard it as a tasty snack.
 
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@Chuck I do feed the squirrels nuts that aren't perfect for me however it's never enough. They treat me as if I'm god and I know their favorite food. They love black oil sunflower seeds and always makes them horny and playful which is funny to see. Very human like.

I do remember seeing squirrels at my previous residence plant nuts and in shell sunflower seeds many years ago after feeding them for a while. I just don't know if they dig the nuts back up. I believe they're smart enough to think about the future and how a nut grows into a tree. I was thinking of buying a large 25lb box of hazelnuts specifically for squirrels out in the forests. I'd like to see edible nut trees everywhere and maybe it's best if squirrels do the work for me while I pay them in nuts. Or buy the following knife to make a small hole so hopefully they can't dig the compacted dirt around the hole and reach the nut or place a heavy rock above the hole so they can't smell the ground.


@Oliver Buckle I don't believe transplanting is a good idea from my experience and too much work. Planting the seed directly into the disturbed ground always results in a stronger rooted plant from my experience of growing vegetables.

I'd rather shoot badly behaved cats and dogs that harass humans by whining and barking at other innocent humans for absolutely no reason than harm innocent squirrels but can't because of idiotic laws that product all domestic animals as if they're all angels.
 
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Thoughts on placing a drop of tea tree oil per nut before planting?
Oils of many kinds last longer in rain but careful, concentrated plant essences are easily toxic, so thinning in a horticulturally safe oil is required. The only magic property you want is smell. Garlic and onion from the kitchen scrap may do as well.
 
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The only magic property you want is smell
There is nothing like that male human smell for putting off animals though. Diluted in a watering can round the edge of my beds stops badger digging there, and I read a report from the US that people camping were safe from bears if the men peed around the edge of the camp site.
 
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There is nothing like that male human smell for putting off animals though. Diluted in a watering can round the edge of my beds stops badger digging there, and I read a report from the US that people camping were safe from bears if the men peed around the edge of the camp site.

I am sure its a signal, but you can call in a trash bear too I imagine. My main concern would be not fertilizing with unsterilized human sewage due to the recalls those methods can produce in warm weather and rich soil.
 
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I am sure its a signal, but you can call in a trash bear too I imagine. My main concern would be not fertilizing with unsterilized human sewage due to the recalls those methods can produce in warm weather and rich soil.
I appreciate your concern, but I am not sure it applies to keeping nuts planted in the wild from being eaten by squirrels, or mice, or whatever wild animal. I go around the borders of my plots, not on the cultivated ground, and my production/consumption is pretty much a closed circle anyway.

Thinking about squirrels burying nuts, and then finding them, I don't think other animals think as we do, although it may sometimes appear that way. Magpies bury acorns in rough grass, they return for many of them, but there are enough left that it can be a major factor in reforesting. Close observation revealed that the bird were not remembering where the nuts were buried and forgetting some. Rather they were finding tussocks of grass with a particular appearance and burying and searching there. They would sometimes search the same tussock multiple times, on the other hand if the tussock changed shape from the shape they attended to they would leave it. I wonder if squirrels do something similar.
 
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I appreciate your concern, but I am not sure it applies to keeping nuts planted in the wild from being eaten by squirrels, or mice, or whatever wild animal. I go around the borders of my plots, not on the cultivated ground, and my production/consumption is pretty much a closed circle anyway.

Thinking about squirrels burying nuts, and then finding them, I don't think other animals think as we do, although it may sometimes appear that way. Magpies bury acorns in rough grass, they return for many of them, but there are enough left that it can be a major factor in reforesting. Close observation revealed that the bird were not remembering where the nuts were buried and forgetting some. Rather they were finding tussocks of grass with a particular appearance and burying and searching there. They would sometimes search the same tussock multiple times, on the other hand if the tussock changed shape from the shape they attended to they would leave it. I wonder if squirrels do something similar.
I have planted pecans in the ground, in unwired pots and wired pots. Squirrels find the nuts by smell. I have actually planted nuts in side by side by side by side containers, some with chicken wire and others without. Some with a nut planted and others not. They will dig in all of the pots except the ones where there is no nut planted. It can only be smell that determines if a squirrel digs or not. The same with wild hogs. They will not dig where there is nothing to dig for. We don't have magpies in Texas but we do have crows and ravens and they act just like your magpies do. They retrieve nuts that they have had contact with and rely on memory whereas squirrels rely on their sense of smell.
 

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My experience with planting Black Walnuts says you need a very high number of nuts to get successful germination and an actual tree. In my case, 100 scarified, black walnuts planted about 6 inches deep 40 years later resulted in three magnificent walnut tree specimens.

Hopefully you will get better results but regardless shouldn't expect a high success ratio.
 
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They retrieve nuts that they have had contact with and rely on memory whereas squirrels rely on their sense of smell.
The magpies, which are a sort of small corvid, don't rely on memory at all, they identify a particular shape in the terrain. They don't remember where they buried acorns, they look for them in a particular type of place, not necessarily a place they have been before, not working from memory, but from appearance.
 
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My experience with planting Black Walnuts says you need a very high number of nuts to get successful germination and an actual tree. In my case, 100 scarified, black walnuts planted about 6 inches deep 40 years later resulted in three magnificent walnut tree specimens.

Hopefully you will get better results but regardless shouldn't expect a high success ratio.
I often think when I see how many acorns our oak tree produces, 'It only needs one successful acorn to produce a new oak tree to replace this one. In a good year it must produce thousands, in a very bad year there will be hundreds, and an oak is only middle aged at four hundred years old. To maintain the population takes one in millions.' Sobering.
 

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