Acorns, acorns, acorns

ginny12September 26, 2009

What a year for acorns! I can't remember when I've had so many. It's been like a hailstorm all week and the ground is covered with them--enough to have to rake them.

Last year we had not a single one, as bizarre as the huge quantity this year. In fact, the last few years have been very light on acorns. There has always been an ebb and flow to acorn production but not as dramatic as the last two years.

I was going to post this and ask what you were experiencing in your various parts of New England but today's Globe has a front-page article about the huge acorn crop this year, as well as what we will be facing with the impact on the animal population, from chipmunks to hawks. So how is it where you live?

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it's bad out here in Metro West! My drive way is covered in mashed-up acorns, they're bouncing off my roof and making an awful noise, etc.

The Globe article suggests this bumper crop of acorns is due to an event already past: The mild and wet summer, previous winters snowfall, etc. Anyone out there with a different theory? Is this a portent of a long(er), cold(er), winter?


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 11:19AM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

I have at least a dozen Oaks ( 3 maybe four different varieties black, pin, white, red ) and not a SINGLE acorn to be found!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 11:39AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Lots of oaks here too, but not that many acorns and the ones dropping on the deck are small.

Maybe this is a regional phenomenon?


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 12:19PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I've got TONS of acorns! But still not as many as about, oh, maybe three or four years ago. That was the biggest acorn year I have seen in my life. This year might be shaping up to be a close second.

If I'm outside, and I hear the acorn hit the upper leaves of a tree, I just kind of hunch my shoulders and squish my head down and wait for it to drop. Luckily for me so far, they have all fallen somewhere other than my head. Which is good thing because these suckers are whamming down on the ground! (or onto whatever it is they hit!). Sometimes I swear the squirrels are sitting up in the trees taking aim. Good thing they don't have good aim!

If you're not looking up, you've got to look down. More than once I've almost slipped on them - it's like walking on marbles, lol!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 5:18PM
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ctlady_gw(z6 CT)

Tons here, too (northwest-central CT) -- sounds like constant target practice out there in the woods. We seem to have a particularly large number of hickory nuts (and since we have a lot of hickory trees, that makes for a lot of noise!) I am always astonished at just how much noise a single nut can make as it plummets through the foliage to the ground. Then there are the squirrels (and yes, I agree Dee -- they are DEFINITELY hurling those things!)

No idea what any of it means, but I thought I read it was just a cycle: trees make a lot of nuts one year, then Nature backs off since she's made so many, and there are fewer the next year, and so on and so on.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:06PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Yep, tons of acorns here as well and our Oak trees overhang the patio so one needs to wear protective head gear at the moment. LOL

Have you noticed the bumper crop of cones on the White Pines this year as well? I've not seen this many since the early 1980's. I'm not looking forward to picking them all up.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 9:02AM
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In the northeastern portion of Connecticut (canterbury) the acorns are vicious. I have 3 oak trees over much of my gardens and I haven't been able to get out and work in the gardens under these trees because of the constant bombardment I get....donk, donk, donk on my head. I walked barefoot across the yard and OUCH..those suckers hurt. Never have I seen so many acorns. Is it a sign that winter will be a bad one...(must feed those squirrels)?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 5:15PM
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This is what I found looking on the web......"Jeff Gillman, an assistant professor of horticulture at the University of Minnesota, said oaks tend to produce big crops of acorns every other year. "

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 1:36PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

So, today, I'm off for the holiday, but stuck home with no car. Poor me. I guess I have nothing else to do but work outside. (Well, there's always housework, but I close my eyes and it disappears like magic! I love the way that works!)

So I bring out my rake and two leaf bags, and ignore the snickers of my neighbors, who snicker at me every year as I go out with my rake and two leaf bags to rake my acre with 40+ oak trees, as they run their machines. I much prefer to rake in peace for weeks- uh, days, than have those infernal machines whining for hours on end.

Anyway, I rake from the street up to my front beds, then get down on the hands and knees to clean up the beds. Holy...friggin...moly...!!! There were THOUSANDS of acorns already rooted in this one bed. I spent almost two hours cleaning up a bed that is about fifteen feet long and 4 feet wide, and it was mostly just cutting back echinacea and monarda, and pulling up those darn rooted acorns! I was able to scoop them out by the handfuls in the trench edges, but of course most of them seemed to prefer to root right in the middle of the crown of the plants. It was like harvesting carrots, the roots on most of them were so thick and long!

I didn't even get to the second bed. Too time-consuming. After all, I have an acre to rake! (which takes longer than one might think because I have to walk 200 feet to dump my two bags of leaves a million times while raking.) I just quickly removed the whole leaves from the second bed and concentrated on raking. I knew there'd be a lot of oak seedlings to pull next spring, but I think it's going to be worse than I thought. I may have to hire someone just to pull oak seedlings, lol!

Funny thing - I did a search to find this thread, and at the top of the page there was an ad - "Click here to find great prices on Acorns. Buy Acorns now." Sheesh, if people bought acorns, I could go into business and become a rich woman!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 6:22PM
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treeskate(6a Hartford CT)

Jeff Gilman may say every other year, but I disagree. This year is the worst I have seen in a number of years! My neighbor across the street has a huge Oak and besides the dropping of leaves into the winter months, the acorns this year are flooding my driveway! I have to wonder how it is effecting the street storm drains:) as we have a lot of old oaks in my town and this year there is no leaf vacuum pick-up. Everyone has to paper bag, hire pros, or just let the leaves clutter up the streets :(

    Bookmark   November 12, 2009 at 7:48AM
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pennyviolet(z5 CT)

We have tons of acorns in Southeastern CT. We have many really tall oaks-like Digger I'm uprooting a lot of oak carrots!

Google "mast year, acorns" and you'll find some interesting explanations for the onslaught!

On a positive note, here's hoping the glut of acorns keeps the squirrels from my bird feeders!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 11:57AM
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