This year the oak trees on and around my property are dropping scads of acorns! More than any other year since I moved here. So many, it’s kind of driving me crazy.
When I’m outside, it sounds like it’s raining – yes, that’s how many are coming down. One day, when I parked the car after returning from work, an acorn hit the top of roof. It sounded so much like a gun shot, I actually ducked. Walking to the coop feels like I’m risking a concussion – if one ever hit me on the head it would most certainly cause damage.
I wondered what it meant that there were so many acorns dropping. Was there something wrong with the trees? Did I need to worry about it? Why isn’t this happening all over the area?
I found a great article that explained “it’s not the tree,” it’s the weather. If there was no spring frost to impede the flowering process and there was no drought in the summer to cause fungal problems, the conditions are just right for a windfall acorn harvest. This year we didn’t have a late frost in the Spring, the spring winds did the job of spreading pollen, and nicely paced rain throughout the summer ensured a drought-free season. This created a perfect combination, resulting in a boon acorn harvest. Also interesting, this event is very localized. This is not happening even a few miles away from me. There are a lot of micro-climates in North Carolina that I’ve noticed create wildly varying results across the region and the state.
Besides more acorns than one could want, this extra supply will draw in more hungry squirrels, mice, deer, etc. That in turn brings more ticks and, potentially, a spike in Lyme Disease. Well, that’s not welcome. Not only that, oak leaves and acorns can be toxic to chickens. Looks like we’ll be adding “rake the acorns” to this weekend’s list of chores!
If I was a proper homesteader/farmer I would do something with all these acorns but, no, we know that is not me. Curious though, I did look up what someone could do with them, if they were so inclined. Check out this article. It was quite interesting to learn what you can do to augment your food supply with the humble acorn.
If I was a crafty person, I could use them to make gifts for my friends as shown in this article. But, no, my friends are safe from receiving acorn caterpillars, wreaths, and picture frames. If they only knew how grateful they are!