Household Hints

Stress can cause early acorn drop for trees

Home and garden news and notes
2010-10-09T00:00:00Z Stress can cause early acorn drop for treesBy Mary Beth Breckenridge Akron Beacon Journal
October 09, 2010 12:00 am  • 

I have a couple of pin oak trees that within the last month and a half have been dropping tons and tons of acorns. They've never done this before. Why is this happening?

A: Ken Cochran, curator of Ohio State University's Secrest Arboretum near Wooster, said the acorn shower you're seeing is probably the result of a combination of two factors.

First was the heavy crop of acorns that oak trees produced this year, a cyclical phenomenon that happens every three to five years. Then, the trees probably experienced some sort of stress, causing them to drop their acorns early. Oak trees do that as a defense mechanism so they can preserve the energy they'd otherwise expend to bring the acorns to maturity, he said.

Cochran said he, too, has noticed a lot more acorns on the ground than is typical for this time of year. The acorns are green, which indicates his trees are dropping them prematurely.

Don't worry. The acorn drop probably doesn't indicate any serious problem with the trees, he said.


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