That Was Nuts! A Bumper Crop of Acorns
By: steve on February 9, 2017
If you had an Oak tree on your property in Sarasota or Venice this past fall, you may have noticed an abundance in acorns. We know that it seemed to be an endless landscaping task to clean up this nutty disaster, but what caused the great acorn boom? Well, the answer is trickier than you may think.
The truth is, that we really don’t know! Scientists have speculated for some time now as to what may cause “the mast year.” They have proposed explanations such as environmental triggers, or a chemical signal to make pollen more available. Regardless of the cause, we do know that flourishing acorn cycles do benefit the survival of the Oak tree itself. The theory is, that in a mast year, predators such as, chipmunks, squirrels, turkeys, blue jays, deer, bear, etc. can’t eat all the acorns. This, undoubtedly, leaves some left on the ground to sprout into little baby Oak trees. Therefore, prior years of lean acorn production keep predator populations low. If there are fewer animals eating the nuts, then the mast years are more likely to succeed in producing actual Oak trees. Seem far fetched? Hey, even trees in Sarasota county battle for survival!
But one thing is for sure, while we may not know the clear answer as to why it occurs, we are able to measure the impact that these bumper crops have on our environment. For example, more acorns leads to moor deer and mice. More deer and mice can lead to more ticks, and more ticks will eventually lead to more Lyme Disease. It is that circle of life thing.
But, have no fear, Greentopps Landscape and Tree Services Maintenance is here! We are available to remove, clean up, and maintain all of the properties in Venice and Sarasota!
Hey! Before you go…. Did you know?
There are about 90 species of oak in North America, and all oaks produce acorns.
Red oak acorns take two growing seasons to mature, while white oak acorns mature in one season.
Oak trees have a greenish female flower that spreads pollen through the wind.
Oak trees of North America annually produce more nuts than all the regions
One oak can drop up to 10,000 acorns in a mast year.
Oak trees grow very slowly in a mast year, and then grow pick up the pace the year after. Masting is exhausting!