I have never had as many acorns covering my lawn as I do this year! Has any one else experienced this?
I wonder if it means we are going to have a COLD and Snowy winter.
Instead of acorns, I have black walnuts, black walnuts, black walnuts! Of course that means squirrels, squirrels, squirrels. Those walnuts are so messy! The squirrels put them on the sidewalk to break them open and when we walk to the house, we drag the dark walnut juice in the house on our shoes! We are constantly cleaning spots off the carpet with carpet cleaner. Luckily, the spots do come up.
I have a lot of acorns. I hope that it doesn't mean a bad winter.
Oaks have a pattern of producing acorns that is called 'masting'. This means that some species in a large geographical area will produce a bumper crop in some years. Next year will likely be light, but some of the other species will be heavy. The advantages for this from the tree's standpoint are obvious. For instance, if you are a weevil that eats acorns, you won't have much to eat next year. This helps cut down on the population of acorn eaters. Squirrels also have this problem. Masting is something that is known, but nobody knows how so many trees, located so many miles apart all get the signal to make acorns. It isn't an every other year thing, and no regular pattern can be made out. Scientific American had an article on masting in Calif. oaks in Aug or Sept, and although they had rainfall data, weather temps. etc., the only thing that could be said was that it seemed to corelate loosely with early spring weather.
Black Walnuts are notorious for being alternate year bearing trees. (Some apples are like that too.) Last year was an off year for my big tree, but this year is one of those 9 wheelbarrow loads type of year. I've found that the easiest way to clean them is to rake them together with an upside garden rake, then use a corn shovel to load them.
I thought it was the drought that made them drop early ??? Oh well who knew.
Kathy (with acorns coming out her ears)
Yep, my black walnuts had nearly no nuts last year, and this year they are loaded. The crop in 2001 was massive.
I often wonder how these trees survive and are as hardy as they are. They are about the last tree to set leaves in the spring, and one of the first to drop them in the fall. Of course, they do have a tap root that goes through to China.
Yes, we've had tons of acorns. Then came the deer to eat all the acorns, then the wild turkeys. Now the drive way is cleared again - lol
An abundance of acorns means an abundance of those pesky squirrels in our yard. Fortunately, our puppy and our cat chase them for exercise. Unfortunately, the puppy eats acorns at every opportunity. They don't exactly sit well on is stomach. Oh well...
Here is it Sept 2010, and the huge oak tree outside my kitchen window is LOADED. They are dropping on my tin roof and sound like golf balls. Cannot walk outside without getting clobbered. The dogs are scared to go out. the other 4 huge oak trees in the yard have NOthing on them. Strange. I have to get them up, or I will be pulling seedlings all Spring. Can they be ground and used for mulch, or if they are tightly compacted in a 50 Gal. drum will they become compost and not sprout? This year they are not as large as I have seen them, but I have NEVER seen as many. They usually fall of as little babies and don't mature. Deer and squirrels don't come this close to the house, so that is out.
I'm north of Pittsburgh. We have lived in our home for 13 years and have never seen so many acorns on the ground. When I'm outside I am always hearing them dropping. Thanks for the information Pennsylvania Pete! Very interesting stuff. They are everywhere!
I am in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and we have a ton of acorns in our yard. Yesterday afternoon the kids came inside because they kept getting pelted with falling acorns.