November 24th, 2010

acorns and oak leaves

I have two oaks in my yard. At a glance they look identical to me. Both are beginning to turn a deep red.

The tree in the back yard has been dropping acorns like crazy this year. I don’t remember ever seeing so many acorns. Viewing each one as a potential sprout I’m going to have to pull up next spring, I’ve been raking them up and grinding them into meal with the chipper grinder.

The tree in the front yard hasn’t produced as many acorns. However, they’re almost twice as large. When they drop on our metal roof it sounds like someone’s throwing rocks at my house. They usually fall with their caps on. The leaves on this tree are larger, too.

Comparing them side by side, I now recognize each tree as an individual.

by M Sinclair Stevens

4 Responses to post “Acorns”

  1. From David C. / Abq NM:

    I think they are 2 species –
    L = Quercus falcata (but lobes too shallow?)
    R = Q. shumardii

    I wonder if your oaks are left-overs from an original woodland @ time of development, or were planted?

    They are both fairly young trees–younger than the cedar elms which are far larger and out-shade them and are at least as old as the house, 65 years. The oaks were planted by squirrels. The one in the front yard was only about 8 feet tall when I moved here 17 years ago. I’m told it’s growing on the site of another oak which fell on the house years before I bought it. The one in the back looks about the same size but I always remember it as a fairly large tree and so I guess it is somewhat older. — mss

  2. From Ryan in Georgetown:

    The first one might be Quercus buckleyi (Texas Red Oak), as it said to have smaller leaves and acorns than Quercus shumardii, but I am no expert.

  3. From Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings:

    Amazing how when we really look, no two things really look the same. Could be said for groups of people too, liberals or conservatives, biologically, etc. Just made me think. Thanks MSS.~~Dee

    So much is revealed when we take a moment to examine the details. — mss

  4. From Pam/Digging:

    It HAS been a big acorn year, and the deer are noshing on them in my ‘hood.

    I’m glad something can eat bitter acorns. Such a bounty should not go to waste. –mss