The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:




TimberKing Sawmills




Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Forest Products Industry Insurance


Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades


Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA


Council Tool

Baker Products

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: No acorns this year  (Read 7623 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline metalspinner

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3519
  • Location: Maryville, TN
  • Gender: Male
No acorns this year
« on: November 05, 2008, 09:28:14 pm »
The red oak on my patio has not beared one acorn this year.  We have lived here for 4 years and each fall I am out there shoveling acorns out of the patio by the bucket full.  Last year, we brought the bucket o'nuts to a bear preserve for them to feed injured animals.  The tree is 3 1/2' DBH and is near 50 years old.  My wife's great aunt planted it in the early 60's.

Other than the acorns, the tree appears to be healthy.  It has not been shedding large branches, or dropping leaves early or anything like that.

East TN has been in a terrible drought for a couple years now.  Late this summer, a red oak in the neighborhood died almost instantly.  It was a bit larger than ours. One week, the top third of the trees leaves turned brown, the next week, the next third, then the following week, the bottom third. That got my attention!  (BTW, I inquired about the log, but the tree service already had it sold.) We really like our big tree and do not want to lose it.

Could the symptom I'm having be due to the drought?  Is there a regular cycle of production a tree goes through? Is this a bad sign of things to come? 

I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Radar67

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3914
  • Age: 152
  • Location: Collins/Seminary, MS
  • Gender: Male
  • Cuttin Wood Now For My House Later.
    • Stewart Photography
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 09:48:42 pm »
Does a lady named Lisa happen to run the bear preserve you speak of?
"A man's time is the most valuable gift he can give another." TOM

If he can cling to his Blackberry, I can cling to my guns... Me

This will kill you, that will kill you, heck...life will kill you, but you got to live it!

"The man who can comprehend the why, can create the how." SFC J

Offline metalspinner

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3519
  • Location: Maryville, TN
  • Gender: Male
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2008, 10:05:37 pm »
The elementary school's Earth Club had a drive last year to collect nuts for the bears at the preserve.  So I didn't get to meet with anyone from the shelter.  Just a drop off of the goods.  This year, the apples form the apple tree on the playground were to go to the bears as well.

It sounds like an interesting job to rehabilitate bears.  Who is Lisa? :)
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Radar67

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3914
  • Age: 152
  • Location: Collins/Seminary, MS
  • Gender: Male
  • Cuttin Wood Now For My House Later.
    • Stewart Photography
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 11:22:15 pm »
I have a SIL named Lisa who lives in your area, and she runs a bear preserve that rehabilitates orphaned and injured bears. I'll have to see if I can dig up the name of the preserve.

This is her blurb on the East TN Wildlife Rehab Council site-Townsend, TN.  Director of Appalachian Bear Center.  Education, Mammals, Animal Release.  Housing for unreleasable. 
"A man's time is the most valuable gift he can give another." TOM

If he can cling to his Blackberry, I can cling to my guns... Me

This will kill you, that will kill you, heck...life will kill you, but you got to live it!

"The man who can comprehend the why, can create the how." SFC J

Offline thecfarm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 25326
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Chesterville,Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • If I don't do it,it don't get done
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2008, 04:18:03 am »
I found out the trees go in cycles,maybe the weather has something to do with it.I have a red oak behind the house that is just about as big,another coming along to that size.I had a pretty good year,but the smaller ones out in the woods did not seem to bear as good.Maybe next year will be better.The trees maybe saving it's strength.When the drought is over you may wish the tree was never there.It will produce acorns like you have never seen.  ;D
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Ed

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Mid Michigan
  • Gender: Male
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2008, 07:55:25 am »
It's a cycle. We had plenty of rain this year and acorn production was down as well as both English and Black Walnuts.

I'll pay dearly for it next year.........  :(

Ed

Offline metalspinner

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3519
  • Location: Maryville, TN
  • Gender: Male
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2008, 07:58:13 am »
thecfarm and ed,
That is my hope - that it's just taking a little break.  It's just surprising how nice and clean the patio is right now.  The past couple of years have been such a pain with the acorn litter. Squirrel activity is way down, too.( 8))

Radar67,
I think that's the one!
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Lanier_Lurker

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Lake Lanier, GA.
  • Gender: Male
  • Give that kid some grits!!
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2008, 08:11:34 am »
I would be more concerned about the other oak that died.  That sounds like it could be a SOD incident.

Have you asked about that or do they know?

Offline WDH

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 26130
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Perry, GA
  • Gender: Male
  • April 1998 - August 2008
    • hamsleyhardwood.com
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2008, 08:23:17 am »
MS,

I am in the same shape.  Very few acorns.  Trees under stress will usually bear prolific fruit in an attempt to pass on the lineage if they succumb.  However, they can only do that so much.  Also, like has been pointed out, fruiting abundance is cyclical. 

It takes 2 years for a red oak acorn to form, ripen, and fall.  Something impacted your tree last year to prevent to flowers from being fertilized, or they aborted.  The impact shows up this year.  Wasn't there a hard late freeze last spring after leaf-out?  I believe that happened here, and that might be the culprit.  Nuked the flowers.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Dodgy Loner

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 3141
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Gender: Male
  • It's an anagram for "dendrology" and in no way a reflection of my personality
    • My Blog: A Riving Home
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2008, 08:41:21 am »
MS- Did the leaves on your neighbor's tree fall off shortly after turning brown?  If so, I would suspect oak wilt as the culprit.  Drought usually causes a slower decline than you describe.  Oak wilt travels primarily through root grafts and open wounds in tree bark.
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

Any idiot can write a woodworking blog. Here's mine.

Offline Lanier_Lurker

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Lake Lanier, GA.
  • Gender: Male
  • Give that kid some grits!!
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2008, 08:59:00 am »
My various red oak species do not seem to be producing acorns this year.  However, many of the urban Shumard oaks that I encounter in my daytime stomping grounds made huge acorn crops this year.

I also had a spectacular crop of white oak acorns this year from 3 large trees.  What a mess that was on the deck and driveway.... >:(

The hickories are not as prolific this year as they were last year either.

Offline ADAMINMO

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
  • Age: 40
  • Location: ellington,mo
  • Gender: Male
  • Today is gonna be another one of those days!!
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2008, 09:50:29 am »
Just got an e-mail from the Missouri Dept. of Conservation about the acorn crops here. So it isn't just your area Metalspinner.

Spotty acorn production could help deer and turkey hunters in some areas.

 

JEFFERSON CITYĖMissouriís acorn-counters have filed their reports, and the news could play a key role in deer and turkey huntersí strategies this fall.

Acorn-counters? Thatís right. The Missouri Department of Conservation has a dedicated cadre of employees and volunteers who take to the woods each fall to measure the abundance of acorns. The durable wildlife food items are known collectively as ďoak mast.Ē

Acorns are the most important dietary staple for wildlife from chipmunks and squirrels to deer and turkeys in most of the southeastern half of Missouri. The annual survey of acorn production helps biologists predict wildlife population trends in this area.

Missouri Forestkeepers, a 2,000-strong network of citizen volunteers, helped conduct the Oak Mast Survey for the first time. Together with paid workers, they counted acorns beneath more than 6,000 oak trees.

The 2008 Oak Mast Survey provides separate data for trees in the red-and white-oak groups. The distinction is important because the two families of oak trees produce acorns on different schedules.

Acorns from white oaks, such as the common white, bur, post, overcup, swamp white and swamp chestnut oaks, grow and fall to the ground in about six months. Those from red oaks, including the northern and southern red, scarlet, pin, water, cherrybark, shumard, blackjack, shingle and water oaks, remain on the trees for more than a year, falling to the ground in their second autumn.

This difference in fruiting habits creates a sort of dietary safety net for wildlife. If a late freeze kills all the oak flowers in a particular area, as it did across most of southern Missouri in 2007, red oak acorns that began growing the previous year sustain wildlife that autumn. Red oak acorns are absent the following year, but white oaks fill the gap as long as freezing weather does not strike two years running.

This yearís oak mast survey showed combined red- and white-oak acorn abundance 17 percent above last yearís level, but 49 percent lower than the average since the Conservation Department began the survey in 1960.

Encouraged by abundant rainfall, white oaks produced five times more acorns than in 2007, when the Easter freeze zapped their flowers. This yearís white-oak acorn crop was 23 percent above the long-term average. However, this yearís red-oak acorn crop was dismal, the worst on record in fact.

The relative abundance of acorns from one or both oak groups exerts a strong influence on the behavior of squirrels, deer and turkeys. When acorns of both kinds are in short supply game animals shift their foraging activities to other food sources, such as hickory nuts and walnuts for squirrels and agricultural crops for deer and turkey. This yearís shortage of red-oak acorns is likely to cause all three species to congregate around white oak groves. Smart hunters use this knowledge to help locate game.

The lowest overall abundance of acorns this year is in the Lindley Breaks Region, which consists of Howard, Boone, Callaway, Montgomery, Warren, St. Charles, Lincoln and Pike counties. The miniscule acorn abundance index of 9 in this area is offset by a relatively strong index of 121 for white oaks, making areas with those tree species potential hunting hot spots.

The Ozark Border Region, consisting of Morgan, Benton, St. Clair, Cedar, Hickory, Polk, Dallas, Webster, Christian and Newton counties had the second-worst overall acorn production, with a red-oak acorn index of 46 and a white-oak index of 136.

Next best was the Ozark East Region of Carter, Washington, St. Francois, Dent, Iron, Madison, Reynolds, Shannon, Carter, Wayne, Oregon, Ripley and Butler counties. This regionís red-oak index was 30, with a white-oak index of 165.

The Union Breaks Region, consisting of Cooper, Moniteau, Cole, Osage, Gasconade, Franklin, St. Louis, Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve, Perry, Cape Girardeau and Bollinger counties, was second-best in overall acorn production with a red-oak index of 28 and a white-oak index of 174.

Topping the state was the Ozark West Region, comprising McDonald, Barry, Stone, Taney, Ozark, Howell, Douglas, Texas, Wright, Laclede, Pulaski, Phelps, Camden, Miller and Maries counties. Here the red-oak index was 68, and the white-oak index 189.

Other counties are not included in the survey, because prairie, pastures and crop fields make up a larger part of the landscape and acorns are not as dominant as a wildlife food source.


Offline metalspinner

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3519
  • Location: Maryville, TN
  • Gender: Male
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2008, 11:59:50 am »
WDH,
I do remember a late freeze last year.  Hopefully that is what we are dealing with here.

Dodgy and  LL,

That tree down the street did not drop its leaves after turning brown.  Maybe it didn't have time to drop them.  The house is for sale, so the owner removed it pretty quick.  Within a week of the whole tree having brown leaves, they took it out.  That home and several around it have another dozen oaks in that range size (2' -4' DBH) but they seem to look OK.

I will stop by there this afternoon and take a look in the yard to see the acorn situation there.  That way maybe I can notice a local trend.

A local tree service guy I have an in with mentioned his beliefs on our oak situation around here.  He believes  his business will pick up dramatically these next couple of years because of the stress our drought has put on the oaks.  So much so that he bought himself a nice big knuckleboom truck to deal with all the logs that will come his way.  Unfortunately for me, he needs to sell those logs to make payments on the truck.  I used to pick up the big ones for him free. :(

Adam,
Thanks for the article.  It's amazing the kind of jobs that are available out there. :)
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline ADAMINMO

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
  • Age: 40
  • Location: ellington,mo
  • Gender: Male
  • Today is gonna be another one of those days!!
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2008, 12:55:37 pm »
Not only can you be a "bean counter" , you can be a "acorn counter" also. :D

Offline Larry

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5645
  • Age: 69
  • Location: NW Arkansas
  • Gender: Male
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2008, 05:24:16 pm »
metalspinner, in 07 we had a late spring freeze in much of northern Arkansas, parts of Missouri, and Oklahoma.  The freeze killed the acorn crop along with the walnut crop.  This year Iím seeing abundant white oak acorns, and walnuts.  The red oak acorn crop is slim pickins due to the two year cycle.

We are losing a lot of red oaks due to the borer...the dead trees seem to be quite spotty.  Iíve been lucky and not lost any and I have a bunch in the 2 to 3 foot dbh range.  We are also losing white oaks to something...I had one about 3 foot dbh that died in about two weeks a couple of years ago.  I suspect drought may be playing a roll in these die offs but just a guess.
Larry

Nine out of ten trees recommend wood for your building project.

Offline SwampDonkey

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 35209
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Centreville, NB
  • Gender: Male
  • Large Tooth
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2008, 05:11:56 am »
Nut production in my area is way down to and we had above normal rainfall. The beechnuts seem to be plentiful though. MY white oak had flowers but they aborted I guess. Shoot moth may have got my butternut flowers, I did see nut flowers this spring on branch tips, but very few.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline Phorester

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 1600
  • Location: Winchester, Virginia
  • Gender: Male
  • Can't have a healthy forest without cutting trees.
    • About Forestry Forum Host
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2008, 06:06:51 pm »

MS, the oak could have also been a victim of a lightning strike.
About.Forestry.Com forum host. Ya'll come: http://forestry.about.com/mpboards.htm

Offline Jasperfield

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 655
  • Location: Western NC
  • Gender: Male
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2008, 09:29:02 pm »
Metalspinner,

I was surprised to read your post re acorns.

I live up in Luck, in SW Madison Co., NC and I've had everything that bears producing prolifically. I don't have many oaks a'tall, but the few Red Oaks I've got have almost "literally" covered the ground. The cherry and beech have covered the ground with fruit.

We've had even more of a drought up here than have you. Nevertheless, everything wild that produces (apples, blackberries, raspberries, hickories, geinsang, mayapple, trilliums, etc.,) have outdone themselves this year. The mast crop is the largest I've seen in 31 years as a surveyor. Everything here that produces any kind of "fruit" has really put-out. All of my neighbors' gardens have been abnormally abundant. I've kept a close-eye re these things for quite a while, and this year despite the lack of rain, has produced in abundance. We can count the rains since March on our fingers.

I believe we're going to have Winter like we've not seen since childhood.

Jasperfield

Offline WDH

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 26130
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Perry, GA
  • Gender: Male
  • April 1998 - August 2008
    • hamsleyhardwood.com
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2008, 09:46:04 pm »
Jasperfield,

Y'all must have missed the late freeze in 2007, thankfully.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Jasperfield

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 655
  • Location: Western NC
  • Gender: Male
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2008, 09:54:37 pm »
WDH,

No, I didn't miss it. It got all the apples, etc. It hit up here on Good Friday and burned-off everything. In fact, early this year I looked for production / output losses from last year's freeze damage to continue.

Thankfully, It didn't.

Offline metalspinner

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3519
  • Location: Maryville, TN
  • Gender: Male
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2008, 09:15:08 am »
Quote
the oak could have also been a victim of a lightning strike.

I sure hope not!  I just removed a large sugar maple that was done in by lightning.  If this tree needs to come out, it needs to be done professionally because of the proximity to the house.  My untrained eyes see no obvious signs lightning strike.

I'm going to just pretend its the natural cycle and a late freeze. :D  That way it will live on for another 100 years. ;)
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline rebocardo

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2972
  • Gender: Male
  • Atlanta GA
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2008, 09:58:54 am »
I noticed acorns missing from a few oaks around here. One (water?), looked healthy with no acorns at all, so that surprised me. Another really huge oak (some type of white) had hardly any acorns at all, small at that.

The one at my house, I have noticed some small caps and shells, nothing big like last year.

Must be the weather.

Offline Phorester

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 1600
  • Location: Winchester, Virginia
  • Gender: Male
  • Can't have a healthy forest without cutting trees.
    • About Forestry Forum Host
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2008, 07:51:52 am »

MS, With the lightning strike comment I was referring to your neighbor's tree down the street that died suddenly, not yours next to your patio.
About.Forestry.Com forum host. Ya'll come: http://forestry.about.com/mpboards.htm

Offline pineywoods

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4869
  • Age: 81
  • Location: Marion, Louisiana
  • Gender: Male
  • Engineering analysis-just sittin thinkin about it
Re: No acorns this year
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2008, 02:17:15 pm »
The big ole pin oak hanging over my sawshed had a bumper crop. I spent the last 2 days poking around all the wiring in the control head on a woodmizer. Just about time I'd get a wire where I wanted it, ready to tighten the screw, BANG goes another acorn on the tin roof over my head. I jump every time, and have to start all over.  >:(
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
100k bd ft club