This October we are asking for help in gathering a genetically diverse collection of acorns. You can help by picking 5-10 rich brown, plump, dense acorns from each your favorite trees. The acorns appear to be ready in the next few weeks for collection. Donations can be left on top of the mailbox for 20216 Ash. They will be stored properly for planting.
Studies have shown the best germination success for acorns comes from those that are removed from the tree before falling and don’t dry out before they get planted. We are looking for all our local species of oak. If you collect Engelmann and Scrub Oak, please put them in separately labeled bags.
Sadly, last year’s attempt at starting oaks from our local acorns was a miserable failure. None of our oak seedlings made it. Mice and squirrels dug up the planted sprouted seedlings and the rest dried up in the very hot months of June.
Its documented that predation from rodents is commonly the highest cause of mortality for young oaks and acorns. This can be reduced when the area around the planting is cleared of the cover where mice and their cousins like to hide. We will have oak planting work parties along the Coast to Crest Trail where the city has removed dead oaks.
This year we will start planting before January to give the seedlings more time to establish. In the spring, I am hopeful we can recruit local volunteers who can offer supplemental water to our little oaks on their regular walks.
Looking forward, we have a new crop of acorns and planting opportunities. Thanks in advance for your acorn donations.