Acorns

edited September 26 in NELSAP Forum
I'm not sure what you have been seeing where you live, but there are just tons of acorns on the ground in the woods out back where I walk the dog. And you can hear them as they are almost continuously falling through the leaves off the trees.

I am kerping my fingers crossed, but you know what they say about an abundance of acorns....(Check No. 15).

https://www.farmersalmanac.com/20-signs-of-a-hard-winter-479

Comments

  • The amount of acorns off the oaks around us here in NH is unreal... everywhere.
  • edited September 26
    The abundance of acorns means an abundance of squirrels which means an abundance of roadkill. I've never seen so many dead squirrels per mile as I93 in NH right now. And apparently I'm not alone http://www.unionleader.com/animals/never-seen-this-many-dead-gray-squirrels-says-nh-fish-and-game-biologist-20180830

    As far as acorns being a sign for the coming winter....I don't by it. There are a million folklore versions on the same theory: acorns, wooly bears, maple leaves, etc. The reality is that all of these are only signs of the PREVIOUS seasons.


  • As far as acorns being a sign for the coming winter....I don't by it. There are a million folklore versions on the same theory: acorns, wooly bears, maple leaves, etc. The reality is that all of these are only signs of the PREVIOUS seasons.

    Geez, what a Debbie Downer!
  • edited September 26
    we need Woody B. to weigh in here...my understanding is acorn volume is somehow cyclical and may have little to do with weather. Could be way wrong on that. Acorns are heavy this year in northern NJ. Our red oaks grow pretty darn tall and not something you want to park your car under!

    Anyway when I see (and hear!) all the acorns this year, I admit I'm quietly hoping it means big winter, although deep down I don't think trees have any capacity to plan ahead. :/

  • marcski said:



    As far as acorns being a sign for the coming winter....I don't by it. There are a million folklore versions on the same theory: acorns, wooly bears, maple leaves, etc. The reality is that all of these are only signs of the PREVIOUS seasons.

    Geez, what a Debbie Downer!
    Sorry. You're probably right. I've noticed that I've been drinking way more beer than usual and my gut is growing as a result. Probably a sign if a long, cold, snowy, winter!
  • > @Cannonball said:
    > As far as acorns being a sign for the coming winter....I don't by it. There are a million folklore versions on the same theory: acorns, wooly bears, maple leaves, etc. The reality is that all of these are only signs of the PREVIOUS seasons.
    >
    > Geez, what a Debbie Downer!
    >
    > Sorry. You're probably right. I've noticed that I've been drinking way more beer than usual and my gut is growing as a result. Probably a sign if a long, cold, snowy, winter!

    Lol. Whatever it takes. My fingers are crossed.
  • The abundance of acorns means an abundance of squirrels which means an abundance of roadkill. I've never seen so many dead squirrels per mile as I93 in NH right now. And apparently I'm not alone http://www.unionleader.com/animals/never-seen-this-many-dead-gray-squirrels-says-nh-fish-and-game-biologist-20180830

    As far as acorns being a sign for the coming winter....I don't by it. There are a million folklore versions on the same theory: acorns, wooly bears, maple leaves, etc. The reality is that all of these are only signs of the PREVIOUS seasons.

    Party pooper!
  • I thought the story went that last year had the bumper acorn crop and this year it was back to normal?
    Down here in the flatlands I see the acorn crop as lower, but the pine cone & pear crop is at bumper levels.
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • I think that "down here in the flatlands" some areas had gypsy moth infestation.They start early and may have cut down on the acorn crop here.
  • ski_it said:

    I thought the story went that last year had the bumper acorn crop and this year it was back to normal?
    Down here in the flatlands I see the acorn crop as lower, but the pine cone & pear crop is at bumper levels.

    Interesting, in NW NJ pine cones virtually nonexistent this year, acorns like the trees are on steroids

    I live about 900' above sea level, not sure if that has anything to do with it, sort of quasi-flatlander

  • edited September 28
    An entertaining discussion. As far as predicting a good winter for skiing is concerned, I think we should get a report from Cannonball every September about his beer consumption. That measure is probably at least as good as the signs used by the Olde Farmer's Almanacke to predict the weather. :p

    While there's not complete agreement on the factors that influence mast (mast = the annual volume of nuts produced by oaks, hickories, walnuts or other nut-bearing trees), it's true that nut production is cyclical, as rickbolger recalled. It's also species-specific. Nut trees of the same species tend to synchronize their nut production. A group of red oaks may produce very few acorns for two or three years, followed by a heavy mast year. If 2018 is a heavy mast year for white oaks, it might be a poor mast year for chestnut oaks.

    The primary driver of mast production appears to be genetic - that is, controlled by the tree species - not the weather. However, the weather in a given year can control how well pollination and, therefore, nut production progresses. Nut trees produce inconspicuous, petal-less clusters of brownish flowers that look like dangling caterpillars. It's the wind, not bees, that disperses these trees' pollen. Prolonged rains during the nut trees' flowering period means poor pollen dispersal, so the year might end up as a low mast year even though it was a particular tree species' "time" for heavy mast production.

    Another variable (for those of you who are still reading) is that oak trees fall into two categories in terms of their acorns. The white oak group produces acorns in a single year. Acorns from trees in the red oak group require two years to form. These tree groups are easy to tell apart by their leaves. Trees in the white oak group bear leaves with rounded lobes - those finger-like projections along a leaf's edges. In addition to the species we call white oak, the white oak group includes chestnut oak, swamp white oak, post oaks, and bur oak. Trees in the red oak group bear leaves with sharp lobes. The red oak group includes the Northeast's familiar and widespread northern red oak as well as pin oak, scarlet oak, and black oak.

    Varying the mast production from year to year can help reduce the numbers of animals that munch on the oaks' acorns - squirrels, deer, turkeys, mice, and so forth. They do well in heavy mast years but then fare poorly in low mast years. Since producing nuts requires high levels of nutrients, it's more efficient for trees to avoid producing heavy nut crops every year.

    My grandfather used to check the woods each fall to get a sense of the winter that followed. A "wet woods" meant a good snow year. If so, the Mid-Atlantic is in for an epic ski season in 2018-19! B)

    Woody
  • Author! Author!

  • All I got out of that is we are the same species of nuts, or there-abouts.....
    You ski because even if you don't do it well, it's still a blast....
  • awesome info. Thanks!
  • Here in the flatlands of north NJ the trees are still mostly green. Usually by now there is some yellow and orange.
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