I recently tripped over a single acorn in my driveway and fell hard.  After brushing myself off and nursing my wounds (and pride), I began to wonder is it just me or are there an increased amount of acorns this year? It turns out there is a reason why we've seen so many this year. And they're not just a hazard to trip and fall accidents with humans, but they pose a problem for animals as well.

Oak trees are masting

Bridge Michigan says this is a 'mast year' for oak trees which means they're producing tons and tons of acorns. This 'mast event' usually happens every two to five years. And this year, the northern red oak is dropping an abnormal amount of acorns. There are several theories on why masting occurs, but some believe that trees will produce more food than animals can eat to guarantee seeds will be leftover to grow new trees. This abnormal amount of acorns is apparently making acorn eating animals like deer, chipmunks, wild turkeys, raccoons, wood ducks, and squirrels very happy. But it's not great for all animals or people.

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Excessive acorns can cause problems

It can be a nuisance to have to clean up a massive amount of acorns in your driveway. That's the downfall of an excess amount of acorns for humans. And also the pain and embarrassment of tripping over a pile (or single) acorn. But acorns can be especially harmful to certain animals like dogs. The pointy nut can hurt dog's paws when roads and sidewalks are covered in acorns. Not only can acorns hurt their paws, but tannins in the acorn are harmful to dogs if they eat them. Tannins can cause an upset stomach, abdominal pain and even kidney failure.

The Worst Trees in Michigan

I'm sorry if you think these trees look pretty, but they need to go!

Gallery Credit: Wikipedia

The Oldest Trees in Michigan

 

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