Why are there so many acorns?

George F., from Ashland asked, “Why are there so many acorns?”

We have been bombarded by acorns over the last week. Not just a few, but hundreds and hundreds of nuts. The weather was perfect for oaks were in bloom in 2016. As such, we’ve had an unusually high set for acorns in 2016. The high winds this past weekend resulted in lots of acorns dropping. Some people describe them as sounding like gun shots on their roofs.

Acorns are a tree nut from oak trees. Each acorn contains a seed, or sometimes two, and is covered by a hard shell. Acorns are a great food source for deer so maybe, on the good side, they will leave some of the plant material alone in the landscape this fall. Squirrels also like acorns and can do damage to your lawn by digging holes to bury them.

acron1Acorns aren’t generally bad for your lawn. If left in place for an extended period of time they can cause decline by blocking out sunlight.  Most of the time, the acorns are damaged by mowing and never have the opportunity to do much damage. The same is true in the event that an acorn actually sprouts. Once the sapling oak is cut by a mower blade, it will not grow back.

If you have an unusually high accumulation of acorns on your property, you may need to remove some. A strong lawn vacuum will work just as good as raking. The latter will require a bit more labor and elbow grease. Ideally you don’t want to rake too hard as you can damage your existing turf.