There are a lot of live oaks in my new neighborhood (South Santa Clara County, CA, USA) and I visit them frequently. I see hardly any acorns on the trees. Isn’t this the time of year when there would be a lot of developing acorns?
How is the acorn crop in your area?
Quercus agrifolia near me are dropping acorns like mad. They’re covering the deck, you can hear them landing on the roof…
It certainly varies. Two years ago I remember tons of non-native Quercus ilex and not many native Q. agrifolia. I have heard it takes two years to grow an acorn, so maybe there’s a big delay in the response to rain or something.
I’ll have to ask our state bear biologist about the oak mast this year in NM and Southwest in general. It’s something that is monitored to see how well provisioned the black bears are as they prepare for hibernation.
(We don’t have bears, but it doesn’t looks like our neighborhood squirrels will be well provisioned .)
I did not know the term mast, so that was I interesting. I recall the shape size and shape of acorns varies by year, too.
This is a mast year for Q. garryana on Vancouver Island. Last year there were very few acorns but this year they’re falling on our heads when we go out and getting ground into flour on the roads.
A friend of mine doing native seed collection work for NY state parks told me last week that we’re in a mast year for the red oak group (sect. Lobatae) in my area of the great lakes. Haven’t seen too many on the ground yet, though.
Heavy from the chestnut oaks so far. Others seem sparse here in Hudson Valley
On the Coyote Creek Fall Bioblitz I yesterday saw a small valley oak that had a lot of really fat acorns; but the fruit was scanty in the live oaks there, too.
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