Oak – Tiny Acorns
Q: About mid-June our mature white oak began dropping small acornlets on our deck.After some research I found the following at:
The acorns of White oak are produced in one growing season, unlike the acorns from Red oaks (Quercus rubra) whose acorns develop over a two year period. Oak flowers are wind pollinated and are dependant on favorable weather conditions for successful pollination. Unseasonal wet cold weather may interfere with pollination reducing acorn production or even causing a total crop failure. Oak flowers are small, inconspicuous and open in the spring at the base of the new leaves on twigs from the previous seasons growth. Pollen is released form the male flowers (catkins) to pollinate the female flowers. If the female flowers are successfully pollinated the acorn begins to develop. The acorn remains as a small immature acorn for most of the summer months. If extreme dry hot conditions persist over the summer these embryonic acorns may abort causing the loss of that years crop. About late summer/ mid August the acorn begins to rapidly enlarge to reach its maximum size in just a few short weeks. There is great variability in size and shape of white oak acorns between individual trees depending on their specific genetics and local growing conditions.
Chuck in Conyers
A: What good information! I’ve always wondered why oaks dropped small acorns.