It's remarkable how some tree species can continue to hang on to life long after a region has become much more arid than it previously was. Once such example is the isolated population of Saharan cypress (Cupressus dupreziana) in the Tassili n'Ajjer mountains (Algeria). Most of these trees are over 2,000 years old and are relics of a considerably wetter climate in North Africa, and today survive by tapping groundwater in an area that now only gets around 30 mm of rainfall per year -
https://uk.inaturalist.org/taxa/136175- ... dupreziana
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Presumably any seedlings that germinate cannot survive since their roots will not grow deep enough in time to reach the water source.
PS. I hope they really can propagate the oak too!
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