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Re: E-M:/ A dreadful year for acorns?



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Enviro-Mich message from "Larry D. =?iso-8859-1?b?Tm9vZOlu?=" <ldnum@umich.edu>
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Yes, oaks and many nut-bearing trees produce heavy crops only once every several years. This keeps the nut-predators down, and then eventually, they flood them with food, so more nuts survive. The technical name is mast fruiting. I am surprised that you have not seen it before; maybe there is some modulation by local weather. In any case, you can be sure they will bear again sometime in the future.

Quoting Gary Stock <gstock@net-link.net>:

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Enviro-Mich message from Gary Stock <gstock@net-link.net>
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Let's see whether we can discover something together...


In 2006, in eastern Van Buren County, there are virtually _no_ acorns on
the ground.  Few, if any, are waiting to fall.

Here's why I'm acutely aware of the change.  Many Wood Ducks nest on our
property every year.  By early October, from twenty to fifty are
normally splashing around the stream and pond for several hours at the
beginning and end of each day.  Many acorns fall directly into the
water; the ducks snap those up quickly.  So, I collect more buckets of
acorns (mostly Red or White Oak) from areas where the squirrels can't
catch up.  On the dirt driveway, for example, I have no problem
shuffling together two or three pounds of acorns in a few minutes, every
day from mid-October well into November.

At least, that's been true for the past twenty years.  Normally, by this
date, acorns have fallen here by the millions.

I spent two hours today walking the streambed, raking the driveway, and
kicking leaves under a dozen prolific producers.  We have hundreds of
oaks from 80 to 120 years old -- among thousands of bearing age -- yet
they have dropped _no_ acorns.  None.  Zero.

I know the weather was seriously botched up this year -- IIRC, we had
June in April, then had May in July -- which might explain the failure
of the mast crop.  Perhaps the loss is due to poor pollinatio...  at
least I hope it was something transient!

Is anyone aware of similar reductions elsewhere?

Thanks,

GS

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Gary Stock                                        gstock@unblinking.com
UnBlinking                                   http://www.unblinking.com/
Googlewhack                                 http://www.googlewhack.com/

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