Missing Acorns?

I spent Saturday raking leaves and noticed that this year, unlike past years, there were no acorns hitting me on the head. There were no acorns buried under the fallen leaves. There were no acorns!

Today's Washington Post confirms that it's not just my yard. 

The idea seemed too crazy to Rod Simmons, a measured, careful field botanist. Naturalists in Arlington County couldn't find any acorns. None. No hickory nuts, either. Then he went out to look for himself. He came up with nothing. Nothing crunched underfoot. Nothing hit him on the head. 

Last year was a bumper crop in my yard and the plump squirrels attest to that. But this winter they are going to be in trouble. Are others also missing their annual acorn crop?



We've certainly had acorns but now that you mention it I would guess that the number is much lower than last year. Our squirrels won't totally starve though - they manage to scavenge pretty well below our bird feeders. If the birds don't drop enough (which the squirrels seem to have worked out an agreement with the birds to do) then one of the squirrels manages to leap onto one of the feeders just long enough to scatter some seed below.

It's been a pretty good year for pecans, from what I have seen.

I do see fewer, but it seemed to me they all fell together in one or two days. They are noisy when they fall on our back deck, and I remember one day when a gust of wind brought a clack that sounded like a radio-sound-effects device. It was sadly funny because one fell on our poor blind, half-deaf old cat, whom I'd allowed out on the deck for one last late-summer foray, and scared him back inside for good. Othewise, it's an old-wives', or old-farmers', legend that you can tell how hard a winter is going to be by how soon the squirrels quit eating the acorns or other nuts and start burying them instead. This year I saw them start to bury them quite early.Of course, that could be because the acorns all fell at once. 

Come to think of it, the four big oaks in this yard are bare and didn't drop any acorns at all! This has got to be drought-related.  My squirrels look pretty skinny.  As of this morning, I've decided to feed them.  Very few others like squirrels the way I do. 

 From http://www.arcytech.org/java/population/facts_oaks.html:


oak trees produce acorns once a year during the fall. Acorn production varies

year to year and normally alternates. Not even the healthiest and largest oak

can accumulate enough food and energy to produce strong crops two years in succession.

Real strong acorn productions might happen every four to ten years. In addition,

a late spring frost can blight the flowers which prevents acorn

development. Droughts and insect ravages can decimate crops.

We're in the middle of a full blown Acorn Recession!

Would it only be half-blown if the wind hadn't been so strong on those days when they all came down? 

Acorn recession? Must be GW fault.

The acorns are the first to flee the new airport. They can detect it well in advance.

flying squirrels.

I'm wondering if this means there will be less squirrel stew in the spring, or will it just taste rangier?

.....wine goes with Squirrel? Is the same as Possum? :)


Isn't the low number of ACORNS because of all the voter fraud lawsuits and violations of the law?

I'll drink to that!

Many thanks to Terri for this interesting smalltalk tidbit.  I asked Berkeley this morning if he's noticed there are no acorns this year, and his eyes got wide.  Just as I was running out of material...


Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.