Oak trees are producing more acorns than usual this year — and that has some residents going nuts

Oak trees are producing more acorns than usual this year — and that has some residents going nuts

If you’ve seen more acorns dropping this season, you’re not imagining it and you’re not alone.

Oak trees in the region are producing an abundance of seeds this year and this is a good sign for trees and squirrels, according to Patrick von Aderkas, a forest biology professor at the University of Victoria.

“Most of the oaks are producing a bumper crop this year. And that really means that are way more acorns being produced,” he explained.

But some local residents find the seeds a bit annoying and loud.

“I’ve noticed a sound of heavier things falling from the trees. And at night, when I was sleeping once, they woke me up, hitting my neighbour’s shed and garage. So, they seem to be bigger and dropping harder,” said Margaret Hantik, an Oak Bay resident.

Others have noticed the same thing.

“There’s both an abundance and they’re huge this year. They’re probably twice the size they are in a normal year,” said Russ Lazaruk, another Oak Bay resident.

Tim Corbett said the acorns can be somewhat of an inconvenience.

“They’re kind of inconvenient … because you walk on them. They hit you in the head. It seems like there’s a deluge of them now,” said Corbett.

“It’s a little uncomfortable under the feet. There’s so many of them,” exclaimed Leonard Weaver, another local resident.

Despite how some residents feel about it, the abundance of seeds is actually a good sign for the environment even if it may be annoying to some.

According to von Aderkas, trees go through cycles and every few years they will experience what is known as a mast year, which happens to be this year.

“This is a very healthy situation,” he said. “Being able to produce a bumper crop means frankly, the trees are very healthy.”

Oak trees are adaptable during drought said von Aderkas, adding that some trees can produce thousands of acorns, which are filled with nutrients, in one season.

“They have lots of nutrients that they can store and put into these very highly intensely nutritive packages, which is what a seed is,” he said.

More acorns generally equals more squirrels. This means you’ll likely see more squirrels leaping around the city — though it isn’t expected to last forever.

“Next year, there won’t be a masting season for the precise reason that the trees have used so many of the resources this year — that it flowers stunningly less in the next year,” von Aderkas said.

Oak trees are expected to stop dropping acorns in mid-October.

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Tahmina AzizTahmina Aziz

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