For the past few years I have been collecting acorns from my neighbors' sidewalks to plant. I put them in water to cull out the nonviable seeds. If the acorns float, they are viable seeds. I plant them in pots and cover them with hardware cloth, because the squirrels also like acorns. I put them in my nursery for the winter and examine them in the spring for growth. I take those that survive, remove the lid of hardware cloth, and replace it with a raised hat of hardware cloth. I set the new seedlings out in the sun to collect the rain and the light. After roughly two years the seedlings are ready to be planted out in a field. These young trees are clustered together in the manner of an oak copse, as they would have been in a prairie setting. Recently the local forest preserve purchased the land next to the field, which will help protect them from development.