• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

teeny tiny acorns

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i have several black jack oaks (I think thats what they are). they have teeny tiny acorns. to what extent does nutrition play as far as the size of acorns goes? is it determined more by genetics or enviroment or equal amounts of both?
 
paul wheaton
steward
Pie
Posts: 19441
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know you are new to the property.  Do you have any way to tell if this new this year, or if they have always been a bit small?

 
                                
Posts: 148
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You say the acorns are small, but are they fallen or still on the trees? Some acorns take 2 years to mature and fall.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
they are fallen. there were some 'leftover' acorns lying about from last year that were also very small. I am curious if the same trees were not growing in a gravel and rock bed if it would produce larger nuts.

I would like to try and get more oaks growing on the property and have considered just gathering acorns up and plugging them in the ground all over the place but I am not so sure that I want to propagate this kind of teeny tiny acorn. of course I am basing this all on some probably ridiculous assumption that larger is better as far as mast for deer and turkey. I should maybe look into that before thinking much farther into this..... it is more fun to look at big fat acorns then these little guys. I am just assuming that big ones would be tastier.
 
                                
Posts: 148
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How tiny is tiny? I guess animals don't care. The overcup acorns here get to about 2 inches- huge! Most that I see are 1/4 to 3/8 inch, few get past 1/2 inch in diameter with White Oak and Chestnut Oak being largest.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
  Food influences size of the leaves and fruit of trees  and race does too, the leaves of evergreen oaks in england where the soil is better and there is much more rain are much bigger than those of Spanish evergreenoaks here.
  The no good ones might fall and others might be still on the tree.
  What are the leaves like?

  Ff it is just soil you have a ready grown tree and if you better the soil a bit you will soon have good acorns, thats great feed already their.
      Hens must eat acorns as i said somewhere else i have dressed birds that had lots of acorns in their crops and i don't remember if it was pheasants or pidgeons except i remember one being pidgeons maybe both whole acorns swallowed whole and big ones not two inches but bigish and other birds with their crops full of clover. You can cross pheasants with hens i believe.

  Size would matter a bit, especially as the skin and such have more tannins in them  i would think. INnbiology class, my teacher taught that they make fish fingers the way they are because if you have a skinny thin bit of fish covered in batter there is in fact more batter than fish and so the people feel as if they are buying fish and they are mostly buying batter. if It is a big mass being covered by something the mass in the centre will be bigger than the covering. so small acorns wuould be mostly shell.
  talking of which i have a little book called poor cook with a fish fingure recipe, you cut the fish into smallish bits and flour and then egg and then breadcrumb it, the fact that you flour and bread crumb it is the bit that means it has plenty of batter and feeds the children with less fish than other recipies. If the child is fat it would not be a good recipe. The egg gives proteins as well as the fish giving proteins. It tastes better than shop bought fish fingures. agri rose macaskie.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ok, I sent dd out with a task of bringing me a sampling of acorns. she loves being helpful.  the one on the left is at least normal from my experience and there are some of those too. but the one of the right is an example of a large portion of the acorns I am finding under the cluster of oaks. some are even smaller, to the point you have to peer inside to realize that it isn't just a cap!

 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What pretty wide flat acorns.
  You have to open them up to see if they have anything inside and you need Americans who know american oaks and can tell you what sort of oak it is, i suppose you have plenty of americans. It is much easier to know what sort of oak it is with a leaf too, can you daughter find a dry leaf.
   Soon your pregnancy will be over, i love babies. Then the good bit starts, looking after the baby though there are other people who prefer babies that aren't too small.  rose 
 
paul wheaton
steward
Pie
Posts: 19441
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would think that small acorns begets small acorns. 

I think I would openly shop around for large acorns that are low in tannins.  Oikos nursery is the expert in oaks.

 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
  The fruit of trees and their leaves do depend on the ground and the water as well as the variety of tree, it might be worth getting another variety of acorns but is is certainley worth feeding up the tree that Leah Sattler has got.
    The man who sold me the peice of land i have, planted it up with apple trees and he planted granny smiths and  starkies and such, the most usualy apples in the grocery shops here, to my disappiontment, i wanted somthing less usual, and the trees are producing apples that are small as any cider apple tree produces. We don't feed or water them much, they don't come out like shop apples. The commun market imposes a standard size on apples sold, which is pretty big, bigger than a old fashioned english russet for example.  It was a french way of making sure it was there big apples that sold i was told. The french have lots of small farms so their are more farmers in france and their vote makes a real difference.

  At least she should send there little girl to find some dried leaf so her tree can be indentified more easily. Maybe the goats have eaten them all. Are there any dry leaves still stuck on the tree?
Leahs stoney place, that was her former place wasn't it had very poor soil didn't it.

    How long does it take to get a oaK to friuiting point? Leah has a fruiting tree, it would be easier to put a bit of manure on it with the helpfull microbes that are probably in the manure, buy some boletus mushrooms and mash them into a bucket of water and pour this over the roots to see if  she can't micorrhizies her tree, maybe before she puts on the manure whose microbes will try to eat the funguses spores and reduce their ability to germinate and a whole lot of that hay she has got on top as a mulch to stop evaporation and do what she can with whats shes got while something else grows.

    All the types of oaks that grow here's acorns are used for livestock as far as i can make out, i spoke to the freindly man who works in the fish mongers and knows about acorns, whose familiy comes from a village were that system was used and he said that the live stock  can eat as many acorns as they like.
      I am going to check through juan Ora del la Rueda y Salgueros book now and see what he says about each different type though here they have maybe been selecting the trees with sweetest acorn for centuries .
  I have a lot of things i was going to do now research the experiment paul stamets mentions that proves that micorrhyzae distribute nutrients from old and trees with plenty of sugars to young ones in the shade or older ones that ahve fallen into shade and so are producing less sugar than they need. correct all the peices i have posted without correcting and look up what i have on acorns.
        The evergreen oaks, otherwise called holms oaks and more scientifically quercus ilex ilex and in spain quercus ilex rotundifolia have much bigger leaves in the good soils of england than they do here. Soils cannot make a small apple have as big an optimum size as a big one but they can make the fruit reach the optimum size for that tree.
      Plants certainley have smaller leaves, flowers and fruits, in bad soils and bigger ones in good ones- I saw a weed growing in some manure that had been chucked on the mountain side here, they have an enormouse disrespect for manure here,  its flowers were most suprisingly big for that weed. agri rose macaskie
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
  I have looked up the black jack oak its acorn the one i saw a picture in one article, did look like the one in your photo but it was not such a healthy one as yours.
  otherwise called, "quercus marylandica",
  The first article said they have acorns 3/4 of an inch long so yours is a bit on the small side.
  White deer and turkeys eat them but they might kill cattle through excess of tannins.
 
    Leaves  looked biggish are the shape of a person dressed in a sheet as a ghost with their hands in the air, longish fattening out at the end into three round scalops, head and two arms covered in sheet.
    They have a good red autumn colour.
  THey like poor sandy soil though if the acorn is tiny the soil maybe too poor.
  The tree only grows to a hieght of 60 feet, not to bad.

    You'll have to get some turkeys. or just experiment to see what your goats will take or if they are capable of deciding a reasonable quantity of acorns for themselves, such an experiment takes loonyk who is eager to take risks with his animals, i suppose. agri rose macaskie.
   
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm sure there are still some leaves hanging around. i will try to get a pic up. i came to the conclusion they were black jack oaks last summer with the help of a few identification books and pamphlets I don't trust my abilities at identification entirely
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

on how difficult it is identify ing plants and how freinds try to catch you out on it, which is to say the dangers of identifying plants.
    I started trying to write because of the difficulties i had using books of identification they give you a picture of a bit of twig and you don't realise its a tree they are refering to untill you read the speel on it an and of course when you flip through a book to find a plant yu aren't going to read the speel on all of them.
     You see the summer colour of the berries and they give you a picture of the winter one, a young tree looks different froman old one and a tree growing in the shade and getting all long and think looks different from one growing in the sun that is fat and bushy and so on. I thought there is a place here for guides with lots more pictures of the plant in them and so I started colllecting photos and information.
  I made and will go on making, i suppose, mistakes, i have more books it is not so easy to make mistakes on Spainsh trees at anyrate.
     I was looking up american oaks yesterday in google to see what trees had that flat little acorn and if they gave you a photo of a leaf they did not give you one of the acorn and such. Maybe lots of books is better than one.
  it is hard to see how long that acorn is as it is photographed at a three quarters veiw not a sideways silouhette. A bit of plasticine would hold it straight in line with the ruler.
      I have three or four i did not buy them all at once though so it didnot seem so expensive, i have more than that for spanish and european trees, my great uncle used to have books on that sort of thing, my american great grand mother left me her bird books or one set of bird books and my mother had books on identifying thing i thought it was normal to buy them. My mothers family thought encyclopedic knowledge meant knowing about hte country. 
     If you make one mistake and your family is like my english one, it serves for them to go around knocking you for years. They imagine mistakes anyway, so it does not really matter if you study or not.  I say there are juniper trees here  and they say sure she has seen a bit of gorse and thinks its juniper. I say that i have seen a sabina and they say sabinas are small bushes not trees. Here the incense juniper, the juniperus thurifera to give it its latin name  is vulgarly called, in the vernacular tongue, the sabina, even scientists call it the sabina albar, as well as juniperus thurifera, thurifera means incensed.  There is a plant in the park in madrid whose latin name is,  juniperus sabin so freinds say i have got my knickers in a twist when i call the trees sabinas and whats more they do it behind my back long before they do it to may face, making it nearly impossible to defend myself. Some people talk as if a bit of egotism was bad , the real problems with dealing with adults are so much graver, they are absolutely cut throat.
  The name business is another problem with identifying trees, you find they have three names and if you don't know all of them you are going to bump into some clever clever who knows a different one from you and calls you stupid for not knowing the other name.
       As a student i thought you could trust, at anyrate freinds, not to knock you , chums, people of your own generation. Wrong, they behave like teachers at school who are there to correct your work except that as they aren't experts in th  topic so they correct you less fairly they are there to discover you are usles. The advantage, it has really had me finding out more to defend myself. Enough to deluge you all in what i have found out. agri  rose macaskie.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
Posts: 985
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Leah, the black oaks, like red oaks, are high in tannin.  You might want to do some research on oaks and choose something that will work in your climate and soil, but has sweeter acorns.  White oaks, chestnut oaks, and so on, ought to work.  Might need to feed a bit if your soil is really bad -- do a guild that includes some nitrogen fixers.

Kathleen
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i have just gone though the oaks that are mentioned in juan ora de la rueda y salgueros book who is great on the uses of Spanish trees and he too like katherine Sanderson  mentions white oak quercus petraea, as being used to feed  live stock in the north of Spain with the difference that he mentions it as beign used to feed humans to.

  He also mentions with reference to encinas that they have been more or less cultivated for mileniums and the trees have probably been selected for the size and sweetenss of t heir acorns. So better a spainish tree than one that has been growing far from areas where the sweetness of the acorn has been an importatn factor.
  In England the feed is called nuts at least that that comes in pellets so obviously there was a time when the live stock was fattened with nuts.

  The white oak is also really good for furniture and construction, beams and such and in ship building  and wine barrels.
the white ak in the nrthern sea board of spain and the encina is the one which is good for hman consumption in the centre and south west of Spain

    The encina is the tree that gives you your acorns usefull for making bread that fed humans in winter in the autonomies of Castilla and Extremadura, the centre and very hot dry west of Spain.
   
      This is mentioned by the greek Estrabon who also wrote about the white oak being used for this purpose  and it is even mentioned in the last  century by now the before last cenutury by another writer Maximo Lafguna.
      If i am writting for those who only want to farm this information is unecessary but if people read this who want to reseearch the use of leaf and acorn for live stock farming the written references are important.
 
        The dehesa of encina is the pasture ground of several types of cattle, the negras ibericas, moruchos, blancos cacerenas and retintas. The iberica pig and  and merino sheep. all of which except the pigs eat the leaf of the encinas as well as the acorns. The horses that are used to round up the cattle also and probably some goat herders to clean up  the plants the rest of the species of live stock don't like. This sort of mixed animal extensive farming is not legal under common market rules, i believe, that don't take into account outlandish traditions and probably never bothered to weigh up there value in drier climates or is only doing so now.

    I know several  people who eat acorns and really like them. I myself like them, I spoke to the man who works in the fishmongers down the road about it the other day after all the querying here  and he said yes the animals can eat as much as they like and how good they are how much he likes them  and how they are good for the digestion, something Cesar FUentes sanchez who rights the most complete book i have on dehesas, farms that are full of oak trees, and my freind from the fish shop said  that they are good for the hose pipe, they make it like a mast and so I laughed at him and said that hose pipes had to relax sometimes. As he walked off he looked back and said seriously and with a serous expression in his eyes, no seriously, so they are traditionally meant to be good for erectile functioning.  Better eating acorns than rhinoceros horn.  agri rose macaskie
         

  I have not found any peice of writting that says the merino sheep natural to the areas that are full of dehesas eat the leaves of encina. In my book on spanish races of sheep the part that relates to the merino sheep is very conservative and does not say they do anything strange but as they live in all the parts of spain with the hottest driest summers, and where the population is poorest, i find it hard to believe they don't eat lots of strange things, times and the leaves of trees that are green in summer.

      The accounts of which animals eat what in the book of different races of sheep varies greatly from province to province. I think the writers are the local experts and some of them don't see fit to mention strange eating habits, the most disinhibited seem to be the island agricutural engineers, the accounts from the canaries  islands report the live stock eating all the parts of the banana plant except the bananas or and those from Mallorca report them eating the shells and leaves of almonds.  agri rose macaskie.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
gotta get my camera charged up! the stables where i used to work had lots of oaks. some of the horses learned to munch on them. Next time i visit I will try to identify them, maybe they are tastier and have lower tannin......or maybe there were just a few weird horses there! I would have lots of options to pick from as far as which trees to collect from there too without feeling weird about stomping around and looking at trees there. 
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
  You gong to write a book on identifying american oaks.? just make sure your better than me at trying to publish it. you can't be feeling very energetic at the moment any way. It is embarrassig hanging round places but i th ink  you get over that. rose .
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yesterday i say down and looked up all the stuff juan oria de la rueda has written on the different varieties of oak in his end of the woods he only rights about trees you can find in castilla y leon and their uses. so here the low down

   The white oak, quercus pertaea's acorns are used for the live stock and for humans. they used to make bread out of them as well as munching away at acorns. the evergreen oak and this one are the only ones he mentions as used for human consumption. he gives historiacal references to this.
       He mentions that it has more acorns than any other varietes of oak , he says a mature tree can produce up to 50,000 acorns a year which is to say 100kilos/arbol these really good crops aaare proceeded by a warm spring and hot dry summer. they dont happen every year which seems to be true of most other oaks to .
      He says that they used to measure the area of the woods in atlantic europe so they could decide how many pigs could be feed and the population were forced to plant and whatch over the good rooting of several oaks every year including the parish preists,widows and lord mayors, because they were important for the populations.
  He says the acorns are very important to the brown bear and there are not many left here.
     Its wood is really good for furniture and construction and boat building. its is found in the north coast pyranees and a few patches further towards the centre.

The rubor, quercus rubur.. also is natural to the northern part of spain it mostly occupies the northcoast. Where it occupies more southerly zones it lives suprisingly high up the montains up to 1800 metrees in one place 1,700 in another and1,600 in another .
   The fauna like woods of this oak because it produces more acorns than other oaks and  more regularly,  producing several tons of acorns a hectar. He does not say it is used for the llivestock.
  The wood of the rubur is good for carpentry and construction like the wood of the white oak.
     
The rest of the varieties of oaks trees live in the interior are trees that can take a mediteranean summer.


The Mellojo, quercus pyrenaica, has big deeply indented leaves which leaves go brown in winter but don't fall from the tree . The leaves are thickish and covered with fine white hairs a way of protecting the leaf from loss of humidity.

Juan Oria de la Rueda  says that the pigs eat its acorns

He also says that the leaves of the tree are used as forage for the live stock in winter. They stripped the leaves off  the tree, they milk the tree of its leaves and feed to them to the  pigs and they are fed to them cooked up with potatoes and straw . This sustains them but does not fatten them, maybe used for the sows, not the young who are being fattened on acorns. Maybe for people who could not afford acorns .
    This happens in palentina, leonesa and zamoriano monte. Monte  means scrubland, monte alto, means wooded land and monte bajo land covered in bushes.
He also mentions tthe branch twig as good for goats. It is this tree mostly whose leaves were fed to the billy goats kept in a pen close to my house.
  He says the acorns were auctioned off in Requejada in Zamora and the owner went out with a barrow to pick them up before the live stock came out to graze.

     The leaf was also collected as bedding. I think the use of leaf for bedding is yet another reason for desertification by over pasturizing in spain or at any rate leaving the lands barren. It is yet another way to  reduce organic material and it would be as well to bare it in mind as a reason for desertification in other countries, if anyone has to deal with agricultural problems in other countries. Of course one hopes permaculturists will be spreading the word.

      When I bought my house there was a patch of this oak that grew no higher than my knee and covered a largeish area i don't know if for the animals to eat or for the shepherds to cut branch off to tsk¡e to the live stock. I post a photo of this but now the trees are biggish. I wish i had photographed it when i first got the house. The patch is encircled in red. This tree is known for sending up lots of shoots from its roots probably does not bother if you don't cut it down. agri rose macaskie.

 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It looks like these acorns would be a good size to feed to chickens.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think I said on some other thread i have seen really biggish acorns in the crop of a pheasant or pidgeon or both i don't remember which, it must be possible for a hen, an enormouse bird next to a pidgeon to eat really big acorns. Get people who shoot and so know whats in the crop of birds who eat things like acorns to tell you about how big acorns can be for bird feed. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Leah Sattler if all my different types of oaks that have acorns habitually given to feed animals is drowning this thread of yours get my stuff moved oto a thread on, which oaks acorns have been reported to serve as feed for live stock. rose.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
  The other decidiouse spanish oak whose acorns serve to feed live stock is the quercus faginea. Juan Oria de la Rueda y Salguero says its leaves are so liked by live stock as to mean that this tree gets eaten out of existence or as to, reduce its competivity,. I mean to post photos of the leaves of several of these oaks later. 

Juan oria de la rueda y Salguero does not mention the acorns of the Quercus coccifera being used to feed live stock nor does he mention its leaves being used for the same ,as sheep are taken through places where they grow it is to be supposed they would eat them, maybe they don't drive them through the cocciferer bushes in acorn season.

  The encina, quercus ilex rotundifolia and the quercus subers acorns and leaves are used to fatten the livestock, All live stock eat the acorns if they have not been reserved for the pigs, to make jamon iberica, bellota, bellota. I believe that if the labels of the hams don't say bellota, bellota, which means acorn, acorn, there is no reason to believe that the serrano ham is made of acorn fattened pigs.
  The branch, the prunnings of the encina also serve to feed live stock. That prunnings are used makes the use of the leaf sustainable, only the leaves cut for them are eaten, that controles how much of the tree they eat. The trees are shaped so the branches are above the level of the heads of the animls. Goats can't climb them  and eat all their leaves.
    The quercus suber the cork oaks leaves are eaten when they fall from the trees by the cattle in the farms in spring and  summer according to Juan Oria de la Rueda, they form, he says, almost the only food of the cattle in this season
    The quercus subers cork oaks  bark also serves to make corks and for ecological insulation of our house. It is stripped form the trees every nine years and grows back.
  the cork is also good if you want to have trees in a place with fires. It protects the trees from fires. It seems it is not very flamable, more inflamable than flamable.  agri rose macaskie. 
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think loony k said that he goes shooting maybe he knows what all the birds eat maybe he does not dress the birds he catches and so does not open their crops and does not have a clue. rose
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic