Tom's Blog

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fall 2014 was a good year for bur oak acorn production

It turns out that 2014 was a good year for acorn production by bur oaks. What is called a good "mast" year. However, it was only now, after we had completed our savanna burns, that I was able to see the heavy acorn layers under the bur oaks. Bur oaks drop their leaves early in the fall, and by the time I started looking for acorns last fall, they were all covered up. It was only yesterday, after the leaf litter had been burned up, that I was able to see the acorns under the bur oaks, especially in Units 8 and 10.

Last year was also a good mast year for red oaks. See last October's blog for details. As that blog discussed, the mechanism by which masting is controlled in oaks remains a mystery.


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