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Another Acorn question

Old 12-11-2003, 06:43 AM
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Location: Wind Lake WI wind lake, WI, US
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Default Another Acorn question

Does anyone know how to tell if we are going to have a heavy acron crop or a light acorn crop? I know it vary's from year to year but it doesn't seem to follow any pattern.
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Old 12-11-2003, 07:27 AM
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Location: Walnut MS USA
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Default RE: Another Acorn question

Moisture seems to be the key. Especially at the time when the acorns are forming. Dry weather can ruin an Acorn crop. Fertilization is another factor. Some people will fertilize under the tree canopy with 3X13. 8-10 lbs. can really boost a crop.

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Old 12-11-2003, 07:34 AM
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Location: Bonnots Mill Missouri USA
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Default RE: Another Acorn question

I may be getting this mix up, but in a natural setting don't they say that black oak species generally produce some acorns every year, while the white oak species produces a heavy crop every other year. It may be the other way around, but there some sort of general rule about the black and white oaks.

My guess is that with ideal environmental conditions and fertilizer as Russ stated, you should have a good crop every year.
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Old 12-11-2003, 06:38 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Another Acorn question

If you fertilize you will increase yields on the off years but many trees only bear heavy crops every second or third year. It's just the genetics of the tree. The trees seem to overbear so much that they have to take a year off. If it was a fruit tree you could manually thin the crop. With nut trees your at the mercy of mother nature. To determine the exact bearing sequence you need to look up the information for each species. Some bear every other year, others have 1 on then two off. Fertilize, water if you can, trim off dead/dieing branches. You can sometimes shock a tree into bearing if you over trim. The tree puts its full resources into seed production. Unfortunately you'll set up for a poor bearing year the year after the good crop.

Dan O.
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Old 12-12-2003, 09:27 PM
Typical Buck
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Default RE: Another Acorn question

I think it's the white oak that has a crop every year and the red oak every other year.

BTW there is a neat site to identify trees by name, leaves, or fruit at...
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Old 12-14-2003, 06:41 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Another Acorn question

Hawgnman; you're correct that white oaks fertilize and set acorns the same year while red oaks mature their acorns the year after fertilization. Red oaks still have a crop every two years, it just takes two years for their nuts to form. On top of that cycle there is a bearing cycle. Most trees only have a high yielding year every second or third year.

Dan O.

I've attached a link which partly explains biennial bearing in apples.

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Old 12-15-2003, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: WV
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Default RE: Another Acorn question

I am not sure about the one year on and off again but I do know this. In my area we have probably 98% northern red oaks. When they have acorns they are typically very large. The fall of 2002, and 2003 we have not had any acorns from any species. I read the DNR mast reoport for my state. In 2002 the culprit was a late hard frost in May. I think several areas had this. In the spring of 2003 it was too much rain. According to the DNR the oaks were not able to flower because of the constant rain. Many counties in my state set monthly rainfall totals in several different months during 2003. The rain is great to keep down gypsy moths but apparantly over abundant rain can hinder acorn production.
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