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Do the oak trees know something about the coming winter we don't?

Deb Geisler recalls what happened the last time we saw as many acorns on the ground as we're seeing now.

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I think it probably has more to do with the amount of rain we had this spring and summer than future telling oak trees. But, you know, whatever.

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Oak mast years (i.e. mega-acorn years) happen every 4-5 years or so, we had one in 2005 I think, I remember trying to rake leaves in the yard and ending up shoveling acorns into the lawn bags, which made them hard to pick up. Was 2005 a bad winter?

Scientists still aren't quite sure what triggers big acorn production seasons, but as the commenter notes above, weather conditions are thought to have something to do with it.

Oak mast years are linked to upticks in gypsy moth populations, because the rodents that eat gypsy moth cocoons have bellies full of acorns instead. Myself, I'm more worried about a squirrel and chipmunk mast year in 2010! :-)

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...was pretty bad, according to the Blue Hill Observatory. I don't know if that's the year you meant since we moved into house 2.0 before that and left the oak trees behind.

We seem to have a lot more bats this year, however. That probably means we'll have a scarier Halloween. :-)

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The ACORNs were on the ground because they were defunded.

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First come the acorns so thick that they make it treacherous to walk some trails in the Fells and even cycle on some roadways.

Next comes the Rodent Explosion. I joked that we needed a styrafoam meat tray for a welcome mat a few years ago because my dear departed Mario LeMiaux (aka "chipmunk cheeks") brought home so many chipmunk presents!

Then come the Hawk Wars, the Foxes, and the Coyotes. So many rodents means that raptors and predators can feed and fledge and raise more babies. That means territory expansion and territory battles - some of a truly spectacular arial nature.

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